Can you save the planet and still drive a cracking looking car? Aston Martin certainly think so. Our motoring expert isn't so sure.
Picture the scene: your wife comes running up the stairs all flustered, shrieking your name. “Darling, something’s happened to the car” she quivers. “Oh God” you think “she’s gone and pranged the Aston”. But your wife just happens to be a molecular scientist and rather than scuffing the beautiful pearl paint job on the DB9, she’s gone and conducted a horrific scientific experiment on the precious metal and shrunk the bloody thing.
This is basically what happened to Aston Martin CEO Dr Ulrich Bez recently because it seems the only plausible reason as to why the prestigious British sports car manufacturer would go and release a tiny little city car. The Cygnet started out life as a ‘green credentials’ project where performance brands batted around the idea of creating a low-emissions city car to hand to existing Aston owners as a sort of ‘green’ run-around to enjoy when they’re not out killing squirrels and gassing polar bears in their V8-engined planet destroyers.
A recent press release indicates that the rather risibly named Cygnet (who wants a car named after a baby swan?) will go into general production and won’t just be exclusive to current Aston Martin owners. For £30,000 you basically get a Toyota iQ that Laurence Llewelyn Bowen has apparently vomited luxury fabrics all over. Same engine (pathetic little 1.3 litre thing), same chassis (standard boring city car fare), but the choice of lots of shiny colours and ‘premium’ fabrics to spaff all your hard-earned money on.
A concept too far for Aston or a genius marketing ploy? I’m not entirely sure but I certainly can’t see the likes of Darren Bent et al turning up to training in one of these. Stephen Ireland maybe.