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2013 Aston Martin Cygnet: Not A Bond Girl in Sight!

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On: Fri, Aug 5, 2011 at 9:04AM | By: Lou Ruggieri


2013 Aston Martin Cygnet: Not A Bond Girl in Sight!

My, the world has changed, hasn't it? It seems like only yesterday a young, virile Sean Connery was racing around in an Aston Martin DB5, beating the villains, getting the girl, and all was right with the world. Ever since the time of Goldfinger, Aston Martin has still kept a very Bond-like cachet about it that exuded from most every model they have created for public consumption—a subtle "Yes, I am a little better than you" attitude that seemed somehow... accepted... over the course of time. But, all that glitz and glamor seems to have come and gone with the advent of the Aston Martin Cygnet.

Thanks to global pressure and ever-increasing corporate fuel average mandates, even a heavy-hitter like Aston had to find some way to decrease its fleet's fuel consumption and emissions, and in a hurry. In Europe alone, Aston Martin has to drop its average emissions by 25% in the next two years, never mind the upcoming US demands. Although the Cygnet may not measure up to a DB9 or DBS in terms of style, what it does offer is upscale fuel economy in a tidy urban-friendly package.

So, how did Aston Martin create a brand new car with almost no time to design, produce, and ship this new 50 mpg phenom? Well, it didn't. That's right. If you were thinking that the Cygnet looked suspiciously like something you’ve seen before, that's because it does. With little time to spare, Aston Martin turned to Toyota for some assistance and, in turn, Aston got the Toyota iQ, then slapped the winged badge on it. Well, not quite, but almost.

In their defense, the Cygnet is about as different from the iQ as it can be, considering they are the same car. Most of the exterior panels have been changed; the hood, grille, bumpers, wheels, and tailgate are new, as well. The trick, if somewhat unnecessary, side vents are also found only on the Aston version. The interior is lavishly appointed with yards of leather and Alcantara designed to make occupants feel as if they are, in fact, in a legitimate luxury car.

So, with all of those little pieces being uniquely Cygnet, how much is actually Toyota? Well, everything else. The drivetrain, a 1.3-liter inline four-cylinder engine that puts out a less-than-exhilarating 98-horsepower and John Deere-like 92-lb-ft of torque along with the Continuously Variable Transmission are pure Toyota, as well as all of the suspension pieces and engine management system. Performance is pure iQ with a 0-60 jog of 11.5 seconds.

So, what does an Aston Martin version of the iQ cost? Well, just about two and a half times what Toyota is asking for their version. Yup, that's right. When this 2,028 pound fuel sipper shows up on US shores late next year as a 2013 model, expect a price tag of about 50 grand or more depending on its option list. But before you go off the deep end and attack the Cygnet (and its parent company) of treacherous villainy, maybe this eco-Aston is a hero in disguise.

The Cygnet may be a Toyota at heart, but it has classed itself up enough to convey a very familiar confident-to-the-point-of-arrogant sense of entitlement in a class of vehicle that has been devoid of such lavish eccentric behavior. As Aston Martin hopes to prove, even the wealthy will want to go green eventually, but seeing as how those that are in the Aston Martin tax bracket wouldn't be caught dead shopping at a Toyota (or worse yet, a Scion) dealership, perhaps the Cygnet is poised to swoop in and save all of those upper class patrons from having to settle for less than anything they are used to, just for the sake of saving a little gas.

Come to think of it, Gap has been doing this for years. Think of the Cygnet as the Banana Republic to the iQ's Old Navy—and if we're being serious; where would you shop if you were trying to impress a Bond girl? Maybe the world hasn't changed that much after all.


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dwalter | 9:11AM (Fri, Aug 5, 2011)

I bet we'll see aftermarket companies selling conversion kits to make the iQ look like a Cygnet



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