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Lotus and its parent company, Proton, will be releasing their City Car to rival the new Aston Martin Cygnet and will be a production version of the Ethos concept originally seen at the Paris Auto Show. The vehicle will first be offered as a Proton, with the Lotus version coming at a later date with a higher price tag.
Lotus will be making additions to the car, hoping to make the electric vehicle offer performance not seen on any other small cars. It will be about $3,125 (£2000) cheaper than the Aston Martin Cygnet, so pricing is estimated to be around $45,300 (£29,000).
The Ethos Concept featured a 1.2L, three-cylinder Lotus Range Extender engine that had a peak torque of 177 lb-ft with a top speed of 105-mph.
GALLERY: Lotus City Car
“I’m not satisfied with Cygnet sales,” declared Aston Martin‘s Chairman Dr. Ulrich Bez recently, though it’s not for the usual reasons. Rather than lack of demand, Aston’s main problem with the pint-size city car is actually lack of supply.
That said, wait times for the £31,000 (approximately $48,680 U.S.) machine are now starting to put customers off actually buying one, especially since Bez views the car very much as an impulse buy. “It is the sort of product a customer sees and decides they want on the spot – they don’t want to have to wait for their car to be built, but to drive it away there and then,” he said.
Bez says that in order to get Cygnet sales to where they should be depends on two things, firstly availability, which should improve once the company opens its first Cygnet store in London’s swanky Park Lane district and secondly, by taking a more active approach towards promoting the car, which may take time, given Aston’s limited resources.
In addition, with Toyota scheduled to release an electric version of the iQ, on which the Cygnet is based, it’s very likely that a version of this will form the basis for Aston’s first EV.
Aston’s city car has been a controversial topic since day one, yet in response to those who believe the Cygnet is diluting the Aston Martin brand, Bez had this to say, “it [the Cygnet] is a luxury piece, a great car to go around town in. Why would you take a Vantage through London when you could have this?” He’s got a point.
A pair of Aston Martin Cygnet subcompacts will be testing their worth at this weekend’s Bridgestone Eco-Rally. The two Cygnets will be making the drive through the extended route of the Eco-Rally, going from Exeter College, Oxford to The Mall, London taking advantage of a 56.5-mpg rating along the way.
One of the Cygnets will be shown off in Seychelles Blue, the same color that was recently seen on the DB6 Mark II Volante driven by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at their recent wedding. A third support Cygnet will also be there in flashy Flouro Orange, a color that has become the hallmark of London-based designer, Tom Dixon.
The two Cygnets will be driven by Darren Turner and David King. Turner is an Aston Martin Racing regular while King is Aston Martin’s Director of Special Projects and Motorsport. This will be Aston Martin’s debut at the Eco-Rally event.
Sir Stirling Moss is one of the most reknowned and respected racing drivers of all time, and he has just bought an Aston Martin Cygnet!
This Toyota iQ based super-mini is the most controversial product ever offered by Aston Martin, and many believe the project will only harm Aston’s credibility than improve its greenhouse footprint.
However, that didn’t seem to effect Sir Moss, who bought the car as a birthday present for his wife, Lady Moss.
She got the surprise gift at her birthday party, which was held at the prestigious Royal Automobile Club on July 11, 2011. Sir Moss had been working with Aston Martin secretly for six months to prepare this special gift, saying “My greatest partner in everything that I do, Susie is an amazing person and frankly the best wife a man could have. Since seeing a pre-production Cygnet in January I knew that it was the perfect car for Susie; a proper little piece of British luxury and perfect for our life in town.”
Sir Moss, who had raced DB3S and DBR1 models for Aston Martin, had the little Cygnet painted in the same color as his old race cars.
The Cygnet is already on sale in Europe, and it should be making its way to North America in the near future.
In an effort to reach out to what it sees as ‘new customers in urban areas,’ Aston Martin has joined forces with fashion authority colette to produce a very limited edition city car.
Dubbed the Cygnet & colette, it’s based on Aston’s Cygnet, a thoroughly reworked version of Toyota’s pint size iQ, but with even more exclusivity. Commissioned by colette and crated by Aston Martin Works Tailored, the Cygnet & colette perhaps represents the first true, bespoke city car and quite possibly, a sign of things to come.
Just 14 of these limited editions will be built, each sporting special Lightning silver paint; accented by unique blue colette trim, on the hood and exterior mirrors, along with diamond finished alloy wheels and special Cygnet & colette exterior emblems.
Inside, is a Bitter Chocolate themed cabin (inspired by colette’s mascot, the Chocolate Labrador) that sports blue accents along with quilted inserts for the seats, door panels and even the sunvisors. It’s also loaded with goodies, including a satellite navigation system, plus a selection of candies, a Wallpaper guide to Paris, a custom Sigg bottle and a selection of colette CDs.
Orders for each of the 14 Cygnet & colette cars (the number chosen to celebrate colette’s 14 years in business as a fashion retailer) can be placed through the company’s store in Paris. Price? 48,995 Euros ($70,160).
The Aston Martin Cygnet might seem like anathema to everything the company stands for, but Aston Martin is hoping that the Cygnet will become the number two seller for the brand.
With a projection of 1,500 units sold per year, the Cygnet would trail the Vantage as Aston’s stop selling model. Aston sold a total of 4,250 cars in 2010.
The Cygnet is based on the Toyota iQ city car, and Aston Martin is marketing the car not based on performance, but on luxury. ”Prior to Cygnet your choice was, you open the door and it smells of plastic; now you open the door, and you’ll be hit by this wonderful smell of leather,” Chief designer Marek Reichman told Automotive News.
[Source: Automotive News]
In their ongoing quest to assuage the guilt of the fabulously wealthy, Aston Martin will be electrifying their ugly-duckling née-Toyota Cygnet—in case wealthy city-living socialites still think Cameron Diaz has a thing for environmentally caring men.
Aston Martin’s EV Cygnet will reduce its corporate emissions levels, allowing the British luxe automaker to keep building the Vantage and Rapide, for example. Hey, somebody’s gotta look responsible around here.
The Cygnet currently sells for the equivalent of $56,000 in the UK right now; an electric version will mean a higher premium on top of that. No word on whether the leather seats will be vegan-friendly and responsibly sourced from grass-fed, twice-massaged beef from the Scottish Highlands. Or if any Aston Martin owner will care.
[Source: Inside Line]
The Aston Martin Cygnet, the British luxury brand’s take on the Toyota iQ, is almost ready to go on sale, and the ultra-lux city car will start £30,995, or about $50,000 USD.
Using the 1.3L Toyota engine and a 6-speed manual or CVT gearbox, the iQ’s 11 second 0-60 sprint is decidedly not Aston-like in its performance, but the city car represents a new market for Aston, as well as a way to get around average fuel economy regulations such as America’s CAFE standards.
Aston Martin‘s Cygnet minicar will come to the United States sometime in 2012 according to Automotive News. The Cygnet will reportedly cost $35,000 despite minimal changes from the Toyota iQ it’s based on.
The Cygnet is a risky move for Aston Martin; a product like this is conceivably a good idea in places like London, where a congestion charge applies to most vehicles driving in the downtown core, or in traffic-ridden locales like Manhattan, Miami or Los Angeles. Outside of these small niches, it’s hard to imagine who would buy a Cygnet for any reason at all.
[Source: Automotive News]