Beautiful though they are, custodians of an enviable racing history and cultivators of an image few other automakers attain, they're about as far away from "green" as cars get. With big V-8 and V-12 gasoline engines, they're about performance, style, speed and class. Well, apart from the diminutive Aston Martin Cygnet, that is.
The Scion iQ-based minicar debuted in 2011 but according to Autocar, its time has already come. And there's no fairytale growing-up-into-a-swan ending here.
Sold only in Aston Martin's home market of the UK, sales have been less than spectacular. If you think some electric cars have sold badly, know that there's even less of a market for a near-$50,000 economy car, even with one of motoring's most prestigious badges on the rump.
It could be said that a 1.3-liter engine with just 97 horsepower is unbecoming of the marque, while traditional Aston Martin styling cues sat uncomfortably on the iQ's stubby form. There's little doubt the Cygnet was beautifully constructed--paint and interior trim standards were said to be to the same level as the firm's most prestigious products. Ultimately though, you need to produce a car that people want, and no amount of glassy paintwork or touchy-feely leather trim will make up for that.
All in all, Autocar estimates that just 143 are still on UK roads after its brief two-year production run.
There is some good news for fans of the car, though. Used prices have already dropped by half, and are likely to tumble further still. A low-mileage Cygnet for the price of a well-specified iQ might actually be worth a look...