Aston Martin introduces Cygnet, a luxury city car based on the iQ subcompact of Toyota, as a way to broaden its appeal to its customers and boost sales. The price of this new luxury vehicle is more than twice that of iQ, which provides the transmission, frame and engine. According to the company, customers will be persuaded to pay 30,995 pounds ($50,500) for the Cygnet with the Aston Martin badge on the grill and the vehicle’s hand-stitched leather interiors.
Chief designer Marek Reichman affirms that the Cygnet is indeed a luxury city car, sharing that prior to Cygnet, the choice vehicle would be one that smells of plastic in its interiors. He says that with Cygnet, “you'll be hit by this wonderful smell of leather." The company is targeting sales of 1,500 units a year for the vehicle model, making it the company’s second bestseller behind the V8 Vantage with annual deliveries of approximately 2,000 units.
In totality, the company’s sales in 2010 increased approximately 6 percent to 4,250 cars, spokesman Kevin Watters said. In a special project, Aston Martin worked with Toyota in order to cut the time and cost needed to build the Cygnet. The vehicle model was developed in about a year, compared to the traditional three-year timeframe for most vehicle projects.
The growing populations in the city as well as environmental pressure have prompted manufacturers of luxury vehicles to customize features for urban drivers. Notably, Audi launched the A1 subcompact in 2010 while BMW will bring to the market an electric-powered city vehicle in 2013. On the other hand, Mercedes-Benz will be selling later this year a revamped B-class compact, the first in a line of four new compact vehicles.
For those who want to drive around urban areas in luxury, the Aston Martin’s new Cygnet may be the one for you. This model was developed by the brand using almost 100 years of experience in creating different vehicles like competitive racing cars, luxurious grand tourers with a long range, and the high performance sports units. With this new offering, the brand manages to set new standards in the compact luxury segment. For the brand, this will be its 8th major production vehicle since 2004 to come out from its advanced facility. This more than proves that the brand remains to be committed to British manufacturing and is supported by a strong network of suppliers and dedicated local workforce. In developing the Cygnet, the brand makes sure to follow a basic yet simple concept.
That is, when it comes to driving in the city, the size is just as important as the freedom and its speed. With an overall length of 3 meters, the driver is permitted to experience a new element when it comes to freedom as the Cygnet can be used to navigate through small parking places, go through gaps present in traffic, and even has efficient fuel economy and low CO2 emissions. All of this is possible without compromising the high level of comfort and quality. Director of Design at Aston Martin Marek Reichman shares that while the Cygnet is indeed small, it has that luxurious feel that many people want.
He adds that luxury should never be limited by the size and with the amount of choices on colors, textures, and materials, each hand-finished Cygnet will be unique and have its own niche in the city. Chief Executive Officer Dr. Ulrich Bez meanwhile adds that the Cygnet is a good example to the commitment the company gave as it relates to integrity and innovation. Customers need to think differently, he adds, and at Aston Martin, honesty is valued and so there won’t be concessions made.
Whatever the company does, it makes sure that it does it right, Dr. Bez continues. So when that company says performance, then expect performance. When it comes to its sports cars, he adds, the company will never compromise or even downscale. As expected from Aston Martin, there was no compromise when it came to the Cygnet and that is why it can even meet customer needs when it comes to space and emissions, Dr. Bez adds further.
When it comes to driving in the city, customers prefer a small car, which implies they want the right tools for the right job, he continues. The company therefore needed to scale down in a creative manner so as not to sacrifice the personality of the vehicle, intelligence, or even the artistry, Dr. Bez shares. The Cygnet is a result of the company’s unmatched knowledge in design, craft, and technology. There is always the possibility that in the future, cities will offer a different setting in terms of luxury brands. It is possible that the division will increase when it comes to urban and non-urban products, given the current social change and even implementation of new legislation.
By releasing the Cygnet, the company is making sure that it remains to be at the forefront when these changes take place and thus guarantees that its brand image will succeed even under new conditions in the market. Dr. Bez shares that the aim was for the Cygnet to be able to support the company’s sports cars by giving it a higher degree of freedom under an urban setting. It is truly a special car as while it is a premium vehicle, it has a compact package that shows personality, heart, and soul, he continues. Made for city driving, the Cygnet is expected to move the company towards the future. This car is here now and it is the best option for those who prefer a bespoke and premium commuter car, he adds.