What is it?
The Cygnet is the child of an unlikely love-in between Aston Martin and Toyota. Essentially just an iQ with posh bits and a ridiculous price tag, the Cygnet was born to enable Aston, whose remaining range is a tad troublesome to the environmentally left of centre, to meet very stringent new emissions regulations. The fact that, bling-bling detail notwithstanding, it clearly is just an iQ with posh bits doesn’t bother Aston, so long as it can sell enough to cut back its average CO2 emissions. This is a cunning ploy that allows the firm to carry on making 570bhp 6.0-litre V12s and putting them into proper British sports cars. And we’re not arguing with that.
With absolutely no fettling to chassis or engine by Aston, the Cygnet drives exactly like a Toyota iQ. Which is fine if you’re in a £10k Toyota with modest urban ambitions, but when you’ve spent nearly £32,000 on an Aston Martin badge, albeit one mounted above a 1.3-litre engine, you’d be forgiven for expecting a little more. The Cygnet sees off 60mph in the same 11.8 seconds as the iQ and still maxes out at 106mph despite Aston’s bespoke body. The ride isn’t great either, and the gearbox is a lot less than great – you need to wring out that 98bhp four-pot to get even a vague sense of speed. It’s a bit of a sham then, but we know why.
On the inside
The cabin is what the Cygnet is all about, and pretty much the only way even its frivolous super-rich owners are going to be able to justify their purchase. Aston has gone to town on the iQ interior, trimming it with all the elegance and quality that you’d expect from a DB9. There are 22 different leather options for customers to choose from, alongside 30 exterior colours, so there’s every opportunity to make Cygnet ownership feel bespoke and rather special.
If you’ve bought a Cygnet, it’s odds-on you’re extremely wealthy and unlikely to be worrying about trivial things like depreciation, insurance and running costs. But they’ll probably all be negligible anyway, and, on top of that, there is the peace of mind in knowing that Toyota’s running gear is likely to be an awful lot less troublesome than Aston’s own. Aston originally conceived the Cygnet as only being for sale to current Aston Martin owners, but now it has relented and anyone can wander into their local dealer and pick up a Cygnet. As such, you’ll probably see more of them on the road than you’d expect. You are going to attract plenty of attention driving around in your Cygnet, but then that’s the general idea.