First Look: Aston Martin Cygnet

The Aston Martin Cygnet, a tiny four-seat city car based on the Toyota iQ that's making its public debut at the 2010 Geneva show, is said by Aston to encompass the creativity and prestige of the luxury brand while exhibiting an environmentally conscious approach.

Just as they do with their hand-built exotic sports cars, the lads in Gaydon will meticulously piece together each of the 20,000 Cygnets Aston hopes to sell per year. Both Aston Martin and Toyota officials are said to be pressing for a European release sometime late next year or early 2011 at a cost expected to be in the range of 23,000 euros ($32,000). For that 10,300-euro premium, you get a revamped interior and all-new sheet metal to properly identify it as an Aston Martin.

Why is the storied Aston Martin brand building such a model? Some say the car is a signal of the automaker's desire to expand into areas other than its high-end sports cars. Others believe it's simply a quick and dirty way for Aston to minimize its overall CO2 rating. Whatever the motive behind the Cygnet, Aston Martin says development will continue well into 2010, so the model that makes its debut in Geneva will likely be a prototype. It is rumored that once the car goes on sale, it will only be available to existing Aston Martin owners, at least at first.

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