Aston Martin’s £20k Cygnet city car concept (2009) : first official pictures

Published: 29 June 2009

This isn’t a joke, but a concept for Aston Martin’s new £20k city car. Called the Cygnet, it’s a tiny Toyota iQ-based commuter car redesigned inside and out, and will be sold to existing and future Aston owners from the end of 2010.

The Cygnet concept does actually look like an Aston Martin

Well, an Aston city car. The Cygnet is much more than a badge and stickers special edition – the concept features a redesigned front end with the trademark Aston grille, a vented bonnet, plus air intakes around the iQ’s lights, all of which help to differentiate the concept from its donor car. There are also new door skins and Aston’s famous pop-out door handles, plus revisions to the rear.

Aston won’t be drawn into revealing details of the Cygnet’s interior, but promises the changes inside will be even more extreme that the tweaks outside.

And when can I have one?

Not until the back end of 2010, when Aston reckons it’ll have the project ready. In the meantime it still needs to finalise the styling, especially inside, and figure out exactly how it’s going to make the car. At the moment the company is planning to buy iQs from Toyota, then change them at its Gaydon HQ, but it still needs to decide the details, including what engine/gearbox combination it’s going to sell.

Let’s get this straight – can I buy an Aston Martin Cygnet instead of a Mini?

Not unless you already own a ‘proper’ Aston. Aston reckons around 50% of its customers also own a city car like a Smart for their day-to-day transportation needs, and wants to capitalise on that market.

Rather than have its customers pootle around in £10k city cars, Aston is designing a unique and exclusive city car, so the Cygnet will be offered to all existing Aston owners, and anyone in the future who orders a DB9, DBS, Vantage, Rapide, or even the One-77.

Where did the idea come from?

Aston CEO Dr Ulrich Bez, of course. ‘Now is the right time for Aston Martin to take this first bold step to embark on this special project,’ said Dr Bez. ‘This concept – akin to an exclusive tender to a luxury yacht – will allow us to apply Aston Martin design language, craftsmanship and brand values to a completely new segment of the market.’

‘Much work is still required, but I am confident that this project could become reality in the not too distant future. The offering of a Cygnet with a DBS, DB9 or Vantage is a unique combination of opposites and a novel transport solution allowing intelligent and sensitive mobility on an exclusive and innovative level.’

The tie-up with Toyota came after a chance meeting at a Nurburgring 24hr race. Akio Toyoda, recently announced as Toyota’s new boss, was racing at the ‘Ring and his team was sharing a garage with the Aston works team. Bez and Toyoda became friends, and the pair have helped form the project.

Next up is a Toyota-badged One-77 supercar. Probably… 

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By Ben Pulman

CAR's editor-at-large, co-ordinator, tallboy