Grab a stiff drink. The new Aston Martin Cygnet is here. This pint-sized city car (yes,
city car) is based on the 'cheap as chips' Toyota IQ. Its purpose is to lower the average
carbon emission figure of Aston's fleet to conform with European legislation. As such,
the Cygnet has a 1.33-litre 97bhp engine teamed with either six-speed manual or CVT
automatic transmission. Both versions average roughly 55mpg and have emissions
of 120g/km or less. The 'race' to 62mph takes under twelve seconds and they reach a
The Aston Martin Cygnet may be based on the IQ but every panel, except the roof, has
been reshaped. In particular, the front and rear pay homage to its more aggressive and
powerful siblings. The interior has been improved too and has a quality feel. Just ignore
the occasional Toyota influence such as the indicator stalks. On-road manners are similar
to its Japanese friend, but the Cygnet has a slightly sportier ride. Hardly a DB9 though.
Last year Aston Martin CEO Dr Ulrich Bez said, '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.' Well, that sorts that out.
The Aston Martin Cygnet is an extremely divisive vehicle. On one hand it proves the
legendary manufacturer can 'think outside the box' to meet emissions targets, but
some motorists believe it devalues the marque. Half the appeal of prestigious brands is
exclusivity - and the Cygnet may become relatively common. There is no particular reason
to dislike this machine, but not many to love it either. Best keep saving for a new Vantage.
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