You can’t spell, “Cygnet” without, “cynical marketing ploy”. The Toyota iQ-derived
stocking stuffer iPhone accessory subcompact has prompted a neat little op-ed piece by Bloomberg correspondent (an ex-pat Aussie) Adam Haynes that includes some fascinating dialogue from Aston Martin insiders. Most of our readers will know by now that the Cygnet exists purely to counteract the 120 grams of CO2 per kilogram EU carbon restrictions to be introduced in 2012. With a combined CO2 g/km rating of 400, Aston Martin’s current fleet of high performance vehicles could never match this.
Company Design Director Marek Reichman justifies the Cygnet thusly:
“In cities, there’s less and less space on the road; less and less space to park. And the world is a changing world and I think as a brand if you don’t start to change and move with the times then there’s a fear that you get left behind and you become static.”
A statement that jokingly makes me worry that Aston Martin’s next move will be to start rebadging the Toyota Avensis as a Lagonda… Cygnet Brand Manager Andy Haslam is a little less pessimistic:
“We can continue to build sports cars and we continue to improve them. What Cygnet allows us to do is not have to compromise how we want to build our sports cars.”
The £30,995 1.3 L hatch, which sells for more than twice the price of a range-topping Toyota iQ, will be limited to 1,500 units a year. Some 400 advanced orders have been placed at the time of writing. Unconfirmed rumors (mainly spread by yours truly) of a Ferrari-badged Fiat 500 or Maybach-badged Smart ForTwo continue unabated.
You can check out Bloomberg’s video below and leave your thoughts in the comments section.
By Tristan Hankins