Say It Isn't So, Mr. Bond!

Frank Williams
by Frank Williams
say it isn t so mr bond

Aston Martin is thinking small. In what has to be the ne plus ultra in brand dilution, they will offer the “Cygnet” in 2010. And what, you ask, is a Cygnet? It’s a rebadged Toyota iQ. No, I really didn’t make that up. According to Bloomberg, James Bond’s favorite autobuilder will sell a “luxury commuter” based on Toyota’s three-seater one-liter city car. It’ll be built in Japan and sell (somewhere) for a yet-undisclosed price. Let’s just hope the Cygnet doesn’t mark Aston Martin Lagonda Ltd.’s swan song.

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  • Joeaverage Joeaverage on Jun 29, 2009

    I was at a gathering this summer in Opelika, AL and there was a pair of Canadians who drove their SMART car all the way down and back. Just depends on how invincible you feel I suppose. Not much worse than riding a motorcycle in my book. And yes, I do own a motorcycle and ride everywhere.

  • Faygo Faygo on Jun 29, 2009

    Autocar has a bit more on Aston's plans here : not sure where the concept that "Aston is exempt from CAFE" comes from. they may end up paying big fines (as I believe Porsche has for quite some time) but they're not exempt. tho wikipedia isn't always right, this would seem to be a pretty straightforward thing to get right : "If the average fuel economy of a manufacturer's annual fleet of car and/or truck production falls below the defined standard, the manufacturer must pay a penalty, currently $5.50 USD per 0.1 mpg under the standard, multiplied by the manufacturer's total production for the U.S. domestic market." gas guzzler tax is different from CAFE as well, applying to specific models (which are of course part of the overall CAFE rating). but the "yacht tender" concept does have some merit. people who have the money for an Aston might well end up with an iQ anyway as it's a very sharp item, but if Aston can get them to move into an Aston-ized iQ for some extra money, likely with very little margin in it for Aston. I have a lot more respect for this as a way to expand a brand and suit it's owners needs than an SUV.

  • No_slushbox No_slushbox on Jun 29, 2009
    faygo: If you make less than 10,000 cars a year you are CAFE exempt, and that figure is probably going to increase. The old Aston met CAFE standards (it did not pay fines) because Ford's cars brought up the average. The new Aston is independent, and sells well under 10,000 cars (7,300 in 2007, the best year in its history). So yeah, the fact that Aston is exempt from CAFE is where that "concept that 'Aston is exempt from CAFE'" comes from.
  • Ronman Ronman on Jun 30, 2009

    the minute i read the title and saw the concept, i could figure out that they are doing it to bring down the average consumption and emission rating of the whole line up to save up a bit on penalties, or maybe get off without penalties all together. part of me says it would be interesting to see what they come up with in terms of finish and driving experience, and how they can shove the grandiose bravado of Aston Martin into that little tin box. my other part just hates the idea, i always complain the Toyota have given up on making cool fun sports cars and headed to economy, and now they managed to suck up a brand like AM with them.... what's next, using Lexus' parts bin to make up the next generation DB10?