Toyota Aston Martin Cygnet

Toyota Aston Martin Cygnet

Year of production 2011 - 2013


Category: Aston Martin


(2009 - 2013)

The pictures that appeared on the internet in late June 2009 were somewhat confusing. The full sized clay model did look like a convincing Aston city car but surly this was one of those many internet spoofs or wanabee AM designs that crop up with regularity. But it did look convincing, like someone with skill had gone to real effort to take all the Aston Martin styling cues and make them work on a small city car. This was no joke, it did appear to be a real factory effort, a sensible pint sized urban car but with the allure of an Aston Martin. The Cygnet had broken cover and all hell broke loose.

The AMOC web forum went ballistic, post after post, page after page – no thread progressed and grew like this. The idea of an Aston just for the city, dare I say, a sensible Aston Martin, exclusively suited to the cut and thrust of the urban environment had challenged many members and owners. Was AML selling out or adapting to the future demands of the market place, legislation and the environment? Was 95 years of performance centred motoring being dumped for a fast buck? The downturn that began with the ‘Credit Crunch’ in 2008 damaged sales of high end motor cars greatly and no manufacturer in the sector was immune; AML was quick off the mark with the Cygnet, perhaps it could fill the gap in demand until people desired and could afford sportscars in greater numbers again. Everyone had an opinion and they have all been expressed most strongly but development of the project continued at Gaydon regardless. It has to be said that the Cygnet is not a totally brand new fresh design but is strongly based on the Toyota iQ, an ultra-compact city car of similar proportions to the Smart ForTwo.

First view of the finished Cygnet concept was at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show where the single concept car drew much attention. By October 2010, the factory announced that production would indeed go ahead at the Gaydon factory beginning before the end of the year. The finished production version was subsequently unveiled at the 2011 Geneva Motor show with cars available for customers in the UK and Europe simultaneously. New Cygnet owners were buzzing around the city’s of Europe by Spring 2011. Customers outside of Europe were able to buy the Cygnet later in 2011, although plans to market in the US were dropped.

Sadly, customer demand for the Cygnet did not reach the sort of levels initially anticipated by Aston Martin and thus production slowed to just a trickle within just a couple of years. By September 2013, the car was quietly dropped from the range with no plans for a replacement. Although the Cygnet has become an odd footnote in Aston Martin history, it may also have become a bizarrely desirable future classic too.

Aston Martin Cygnet

The Aston Martin Cygnet is a city car that sets a new benchmark for compact luxury, building upon nearly a century of experience building high performance sports cars, luxurious long-range grand tourers, and extremely competitive racing machines.

Cygnet demonstrates Aston Martin's commitment to innovation and integrity. "It is time to think differently. Aston Martin is honest and we don't make compromises" says Aston Martin CEO Dr Ulrich Bez.

"Whatever we do, we do right. If we do performance, we do performance; we don't downsize or compromise our sports cars. The Cygnet needs to satisfy the demands of emissions and space. It is a car without compromise, just like every other Aston Martin.

"Our customers need a small car for urban and city use, and they want the right tools for the right job, to downsize creatively without compromising intelligence, artistry and personality."

Aston Martin Cygnet expresses a simple but fundamental idea: in the modern city, scale equates to speed and freedom. At just three metres long, the Cygnet gives the driver a new dimension of freedom, able to slot into gaps in traffic, exploit the smallest parking spaces, consume the least fuel and emit the lowest emissions, all while delivering exceptional levels of quality and comfort.

"Cygnet is small but luxurious, an Aston Martin tailor fit for the city," says Marek Reichman, Aston Martin's Director of Design. With an almost unlimited palette of materials, colours and textures, each hand-finished Cygnet will be truly unique, a personalised space within the city. "Luxury is not constrained by scale."

Cygnet is a product of Aston Martin's unrivalled experience in craft, technology and design. The future city will present a very different luxury brand landscape, as social change and legislation increases the division between urban and anti-urban product categories. With the Cygnet, Aston Martin will be at the forefront of these changes, ensuring the company's enduring brand image will continue to prosper in new market conditions.

Dr Ulrich Bez continues: "The Cygnet is designed to support our sports cars by providing a greater degree of freedom in the urban context; it is a very special car, a premium but compact package with heart, soul and personality."

The Cygnet, a tailor fit solution for the city, will help drive Aston Martin into the future. "This car is reality; Cygnet is the natural choice for those who want a premium, bespoke commuter car."

The Cygnet will be the eighth major production car Aston Martin has introduced at its state-of-the art factory since 2004, offering further evidence of the company's ongoing commitment to British manufacturing, backed-up by a dedicated local workforce and supplier network.

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