Geneva 2010: Aston Martin wants you to forget Cygnet is really a Toyota

Automobile Staff

No matter how Dr. Ulrich Bez tried to spin it, the Aston Martin Cygnet looked more than a bit out of place amidst its swoopy, low-slung, high-dollar brethren on the Aston stand at the Geneva show. But that didn't stop Dr. Bez from hyping the world debut of its Toyota-based minicar.

"We're bringing style, design, and craftsmanship to the small car segment," Bez pronounced during the reveal of the Cygnet, and we're with him on that count. Compared to the frumpy Toyota iQ that it's based upon (Bez made no mention of Toyota during his speech), the Cygnet, with its Aston corporate mug, U-shaped taillights and rear spoiler, slick rims and pronounced fenders, is a nice-looking piece.

The Cygnet also features an upgraded interior over the iQ, but retains the car's unique 3+1 packaging. And as far as we know, the Cygnet will retain the 1.0-liter three-cylinder gas engine from the iQ. The iQ's 0-to-60 time is about 14 sec, and with a top speed of just 93 mph, you won't be taking the Cygnet out to the countryside for some canyon carving. No, this Aston is designed as a city commuter, for the guy with a real Aston in the garage that needs a daily commuter into a crowded city like, say, London. Expect 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).

Dr. Bez also made a point several times to emphasize that Aston is building "cars for the heart," with the Cygnet one of those models. While we think that's a little bit of a stretch given the car's extensive Toyota DNA, the Cygnet has enough style to it to think that the automaker may sell the 20,000 units it's hoping to move annually. Rich people need small cars, too...

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