Toyota and #AstonMartin may evolve in the same industry but they were never supposed to cross paths. When two worlds collide it gives us the Cygnet. This car might be one of the most controversial cars ever. It is based on the Toyota iQ, a city car barely even bigger than a Smart Fortwo. The Toyota's career being rather unsuccessful with less than 100'000 cars produced in 7 years, you can only imagine how many were sold under the Aston Martin brand... Just to put everything into context, this car was three times more expensive than a regular iQ (~ $50'000.- with some special editions topping at $81'000.-!!!), it had the same engine, gearbox, and body. It is said that less than 150 units ever made it to customers. These are quite embarrassing numbers when you know that originally they intended to build 4'000 units per year. Oh well, apparently production was stopped only because Toyota axed the iQ. They nearly got me there.
The Cygnet is a silly car. How could Aston Martin have thought that people were that stupid? Because what the Cygnet is, is simply a rebadged iQ. On the outside, they gave it a larger Aston Martin-like front grille, fake inlets on the hood, slightly redesigned lights, door handles, homemade colours, wheels and a glorious logo. Still, nobody would have been fooled. So, inside they gave the car special care with premium leather on the seats, door panels and central console. Nice, but in the end it is just an iQ in a pretty gift package. It is the least they could have done, and they did not bother to go the extra-mile.
The Cygnet was born in 2010 to lower the range's emissions. If you think about it, it is a noble operation, but instead of creating something original to the brand, they took a Japanese city car and gave it a few styling tweaks to make it look like something it was never meant to be. Under the hood, no V12, no V8. Instead, they kept the 3 cylinder 1.33L from Toyota that develops 98hp. Coupled with the "amazing" CVT single-speed gearbox, the Cygnet managed to go from 0-100 km/h in a lightning 11.8 seconds with a top speed of 170 km/h. Also, the driving experience is as far as can be from a Vanquish or a One-77. Quite unstable at "high speeds", the Cygnet's playground resides in the city where its sub-3m dimension makes it most city-friendly and agile Aston Martin ever. Easy to park, drive, and manoeuvre around narrow streets. It's not a bad car. It's actually quite revolutionary. Hard to find a car with such an emphasis on space optimisation. This tiny car still offers four seats, nine airbags, and many security features like stability control, ABS etc. After all, the iQ was developed to become the car of tomorrow. But it was simply too expensive compared to the competition, even with the Toyota badge on it.
So quite difficult to understand who were the 150 customers who actually bought this car? But they may now be in possession of a future classic. Why? Because it is rarer than collectible cars like the McLaren P1, Ferrari LaFerrari or Porsche 918 Spyder. The Cygnet has kept its value rather well and even though it is crazy money for such a car, we can't stop thinking how cool it is. Come on! It's a quirky iQ rebadged as an Aston Martin. It's stupidly cool but it could have been much cooler. Years ago, it has been rumoured that a Cygnet with a V12 could have been produced if demand was sufficient. Now, the Cygnet might have just missed the opportunity to become one of the coolest cars ever.
I would like to express my deepest gratitude to Perego Cars, situated in Switzerland, for giving me the opportunity to review and shoot this car. Website: www.peregocars.com/en Facebook: www.facebook.com/peregocars/ Instagram: www.instagram.com/peregocars/