In 2009, Aston Martin bought Scion iQ with a clever intention: to deliver to a special kind of customers an option for a reliable and efficient mini-car for the city. We all know that one thing is the theory and another is the practice and execution. That’s exactly what happened with the failed project of the 2009 Cygnet.
A small car named Scion iQ was launched in several markets (manufactured by Toyota). Aston Martin saw an opportunity in a car, just with an excellent theory. The intended mission for this car was to maximize passenger space while minimizing exterior length. The car has space for three people, but if the scenario would demand space for four people, it could be enough space for them. But fitting very tightly, of course.
The problem with the Cygnet was the brand that got it. A brand like Aston Martin amuses us with high-end super sports cars with an outstanding performance, top-notch materials, and an exterior heavenly designed.
The argument mentioned above was the problem with the Cygnet. The concept of the Cygnet isn’t compatible with the Aston Martin’s whole idea. The result was a completely failed project by the British car maker. The plans were to sell over 20.000 units in the United Kingdom. The estimation of the units sold was 143 when executed. Such disappointing results.
Let’s review this disappointing Aston.
Drivetrain and Performance
The 2009 Cygnet was equipped with a 1.3 L VVT petrol engine, delivering up to 97 horsepower at 6000 rpm and 87 lb-ft of maximum torque at 4400 rpm. This powerplant was paired either with a six-speed manual or an automatic CVT transmission, sending power to the front wheels. The fuel efficiency was rated at 58.9 mpg and it produces 110 g of CO2/km. These specs allowed accelerating this mini Aston Martin from standstill to 60 mph in yawning and boring 11.8 seconds.
Design Line and Interior
The design of this car was quite good for this kind of vehicles ( it was sexier than the Smart Fortwo, by the way). The Cygnet design is a rebadged model of the Scion iQ with some aesthetic changes. The exterior has a grille designed by Aston Martin, which is normally found on any Aston Martin’s car. The front fascia is completed with those headlights that inspire laziness and nothing too audacious. From sideways, the car is tiny and you would think that you wouldn’t fit in there. The alloy wheels are decent and the door is bigger than the whole car (not kidding right here). The rear of the car is the same: boring and completely a failure withing the Aston Martin’s standards.
From inside, Aston martin has covered the entire car with leather and could probably give the kind of the sensation similar to driving an Aston Martin. However, the materials don’t seem to be of good quality. It’s like the blend of beautiful leather with DB9 and Virage accents, with cheap and absurd plastic.
The Bottom Line
The fate of this car was sealed in the moment that it went to sale. The cost is extremely high for the performance, fuel efficiency, and aesthetics delivered. The purpose was lower the high company’s average. The Cygnet was produced only two years, and after that, the company suddenly stopped the production. Aston Martin said that the production was canceled due their intentions of concentrating on the super sports car segment.
It could be more interesting to create a car with that size but packing a proper Aston Martin engine or something more powerful.
The starting price of the 2009 Cygnet was US$43.500.