Aston Martin Cygnet City Car – rebadged Toyota iQ
The car business these days is very incestuous, with parent brands farming multiple cars out under different makes. Known as rebadging or twinning, you can see it in the Toyota/Lexus range, Hyundai/Kia, and Volkswagen/Seat (in fact, in many older Seat Ibiza models with the large sun roofs, one had only to look behind the control panel in the roof to see the words ‘Volkwagen’ and ‘Polo’).
The latest car to twinned is the Toyota iQ – now available as the Aston Martin Cygnet. The Cygnet benefits from the same chassis as the iQ, as well as the same engine and an identical front wheel drive train, and only for an extra £20,000 for the base model.
Now of course, £30,995 on the road basic price of the Cygnet could very nearly buy you FOUR iQ’s, the Cygnet benefits from Aston Martin’s pedigree performance car history – oh wait, no it doesn’t. It really does lead one to wonder, what exactly does the conscientious buyer get for the extra money?
Not a lot, it turns out. There is the legendary Aston grill (which makes the Cygnet look like a stub nosed Vantage), the interior has been treated to a make over, with full leather and aluminium work over – at least it’ll ‘feel’ like you’re in an Aston, even if your acceleration tells you otherwise. The doors and wings have also had a ‘go faster’ make over – ironic really considering the engine is identical.
The tie up between Aston Martin and Toyota is an interesting one, as the 2 marques have no commercial or ownership link. Aston Martin is mostly owned by a consortium that purchased the famous car company from Ford in 2007, who retained a small stake in the firm.