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Aston Martin’s ‘Cygnet’: A sharp-dressed smart car

ex-aston_martin_cygnet_2009_concept-5901When you think Aston Martin you think James Bond, fast cars and big polluting engines. But in the near future, you may have to think again.

Aston Martin has released some images of its new “Cygnet” concept car, which is essentially Toyota’s smart iQ dressed up in its best glad rags.

The £20,000 city car has been engineered by Aston Martin — with some help from Toyota — to give the firm’s supercar owners something to take into the city, as up to 30 per cent already own a small town run-around such as a Smart Car.

Greenbang spoke to Aston Martin’s product communications manager Matthew Clarke, who told us, “The Cygnet was not the result of a motivation to lower Aston Martin’s CO2 emissions; it was to offer our customers an alternative.”

However, the Cygnet does reduce overall carbon emissions, largely by replacing the larger V12 engine with a tiny Toyota 1.3-litre four-cylinder engine.

“Now is the right time for Aston Martin to take this first bold step to embark on this special project — made possible with the support of an organisation of Toyota’s stature and capability and the intelligent design and perfect city car package of the iQ,” said Ulrich Bez, Aston Martin’s Chief Executive.

The partnership between Aston Martin and Toyota started in 2007 when both companies were testing at the Nurburgring in Germany.

“Dr Ulrich Bez and Toyota’s Akio Toyoda think very alike and have created a great friendship which led to this project at the beginning of 2009,” Clarke said.

There’s one catch, however: The Cygnet will be available for sale only to previous owners of Aston Martins or to new buyers purchasing any of the other cars from the British marque.

That means the rest of us who thought we could show off to our friends down the pub and say we had an Aston can’t.

Still, if we can’t buy, we might soon at least look. The bold new car could be unveiled as early as the Frankfurt Motor Show in September, although there are no concrete plans yet set in place.

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