The Cygnet

Auto manufacturers are increasingly entering smaller and smaller segments as governmental regulations demand an increase in fuel efficiency and reductions in emissions.

For luxury performance and exotic manufacturers under a large corporate umbrella, other brands in the portfolio are able to produce smaller models.

Aston Martin is a standalone brand owned by a joint venture company headed by David Richards and co-owned by by equity companies, Investment Dar, Adeem Investment and English businessman John Sinders. As such, it doesn’t have the ability to do that – for now it has to be introduced under the Aston Martin brand name.

The Cygnet is a lightly-modified Toyota iQ with Aston Martin cues. This enabled the car to be introduced cheaply and quickly.

Since news of the car came out, Aston Martin has been positioning the car as sort of a “luxury tender” of sorts to its performance cars, similar to the tenders of a high-end luxury yacht.

The situation isn’t quite working out like that in the end however. For one, that would require existing customers to be the only ones able to buy the vehicle. That isn’t the case – anyone will be able to purchase an Aston Martin Cygnet.

The official pricetag for the car comes in tin at £30,995 (around $50K USD at current exchange rates) and can go up from there depending on options and personalization.

Production of the Cygnet begins in April 2011 and the car has currently gone on sale in Aston Martin’s European dealerships.