Sam Philip03 March 2014
It’s the new Toyota Aygo. No, really
Citroen C1/Peugeot 108 triplet breaks cover. Looks ace, is inspired by a Japanese manga robot
Toyota told us last week to ‘expect more surprises'. No kidding. Nobuo Nakamura, the car's designer, tells us the Aygo's styling was inspired by (a) Japanese manga-robot AstroBoy, and (b) an egg in a box. Whatever the inspiration, it works.
The new Aygo looks far squatter than its predecessor, but is a mere inch longer and almost exactly the same height. It shares its bone structure and oily bits with the just-announced C1 and 108 but, unlike the previous generation of rebadged triplets, is visually quite distinct from the little Frenchies.
On the outside, only the door panels are common between the Aygo and its Gallic siblings. There's even a subtle ‘double-bubble' roof, which makes Top Gear very happy and may cause mild cardiac trauma among some of the Aygo's traditionally octogenarian demographic.
"In a crowded marketplace, it's better to have a design that half the people absolutely love, rather than one that nobody objects to," says Nakamura-san. Represents rather a shift in philosophy for a company that seems to have been trading on an ‘insult no one, excite no one' philosophy for the last decade or so, doesn't it?
Toyota has gone big on personalisation here: some 10 elements of the Aygo, including its grille, bumper inserts and dash panels, can be easily replaced in different colours, thus providing customers with the freedom to make their handsome little city car entirely offensive.
There's a seven-inch touchscreen as standard, hooked up to Toyota's ‘x-touch' multimedia system which ports your smartphone.
Just one engine will be available at launch, a 1.0-litre four-cylinder making 68bhp and 70lb ft of torque. Officially the Aygo will manage around 70mpg, and emit under 100g/km of CO2. Such parsimony is thanks, at least in part, to a sub-900kg kerbweight.
Not that it's quick, mind. With the standard five-speed manual ‘box (there's a ‘vastly improved' robotised manual available too, but we're pretty sure you still won't want it), it'll get from 0-62mph in a searing 14.2 seconds, with a 99mph top speed.
Sensible indeed, but isn't such a smart-looking little car crying out for a hot version? Possibly a mid-engined, rear-wheel drive hot version?
More from Top Gear
Best of TopGear
- McLaren names its 'baby' supercar 570S
- With the Sports Series unveil just a week away, McLaren reveals title of its 562bhp Porsche 911-fighter
- America’s 290mph, 1700bhp hypercar
- Strangely styled LM2 Streamliner takes its bow at next week’s New York show. 0-60mph? 2.2 secs…
- Clarkson on: leaving Top Gear TV
- "Much as I liked Pebble Mill, I really did grow to hate, with unbridled passion, the city that surrounds it"
- Bugatti has sold the very last Veyron
- The fastest car in history is all sold out. Middle Eastern customer buyers 450th, and final, Veyron GSV
- Who is Magnus Walker?
- Porsche restorer, clothing designer and location scout... meet the Yorkshire lad turned LA hipster