Should Aston Martin revive the Cygnet as a small sports car?
Think about it, Aston Martin don't have a proper Cayman GTS rival
Back in the 2010s, car makers were faced with European Union-imposed fleet average emissions regulations which were set to come in place in 2012. This put a lot of high-end makers under a lot of pressure to reduce the average amount of emissions produced across their product portfolios. This started the trend of downsizing engines and even removing some models from production entirely. This wasn’t so much of an issue for companies like Bugatti and Rolls-Royce as they’re part of a larger product family. In the case of Bugatti, their products were offsetted by things like the VW Up!, and with Rolls-Royce, their products were offsetted by Mini’s and BMW 1-Series with tiny diesel engines. However, Aston Martin weren’t owned by anyone at the time so they had to go to Toyota.
So in 2011, Aston Martin introduced the controversial Cygnet, a car based on the Toyota iQ which itself is a Smart ForTwo rival, but offering extra space. The iQ was given the full Aston Martin treatment, with lots of high-end materials on the inside, and styling to mimic proper Aston Martin models on the inside. Performance wise, it used a 1.3-litre petrol engine seen in the more powerful iQ models which meant a power output of 97bhp and more crucially, a low CO2 output of just 110g. This meant the Cygnet was not only the slowest Aston Martin ever made but also the most eco-friendly Aston ever made.
Aston planned to sell 4000 Cygnets per year at an eye-watering price of £30,000 in 2011. That’s about £37,000 in 2020. Well, Aston only managed to sell 300 units, with about 150 finding homes in the UK, which was its intended market to begin with.
Imagine a proper Aston Martin to rival the Cayman GTS
Anyway, should Aston revive the Cygnet? We think so but, not in the same form as the original Cygnet. Now that Mercedes-AMG have some influence over Aston, now is the time to expand their reach. Looking at their current portfolio, they have a SUV, Grand Tourers and supercars in the line-up. Ideally, Aston could again team up with Mercedes and work on a new, small coupe/convertible model in order to replace the aging SLK.
Mercedes would obviously do their own thing with the SLK, but Aston could literally just use the platform and engines, while crafting their own beautiful and sleek body, while aiming towards the Porsche 718 Cayman and Alpine A110 as key rivals. A beautiful Aston body, paired with the AMG 45-series engine would be an absolute hoot. Not only would this allow Aston to enter a new market, but also give both companies an excellent new small sports car.
Aston would have to price this new Cygnet against the 718 Cayman GTS, to try and not underprice themselves, so we propose a starting price of about £75,000. Yes, there would be a 420bhp straight-4 under the bonnet, but you’d also get the looks and craftsmanship of a proper Aston Martin.
On the other hand, we’re dreaming here but we’d love Aston Martin to build a small sports car, while trying to give credit to, up until this point, is an embarrassing name for them.