- Alfa Romeo
- Aston Martin
- Land Rover
Despite competition from Tata, known for building the world’s cheapest car, Suzuki has no plans to compete head-to-head with the Indian automaker. Currently Suzuki has a stranglehold on emerging markets like India, but Tata is looking to take a chunk of that with the Nano, which undercuts the already inexpensive Suzuki models.
Aston Martin has just released a selection of photos of its Cygnet mini-car concept, giving us the first real look at what this luxury econo-box will be like. Officially still a concept, the Cygnet is expected to go on sale next year in the U.K. and is based on the Toyota iQ mini-car.
Mitsubishi has already announced plans to bring its electric mini-car, the iMiEV, to North America, but now the Japanese automaker is considering a gasoline version as well. The iMiEV is expected to arrive in the next two years and is now likely to be joined by a gasoline version, allowing dealers to benefit from higher volume sales.
If you polled the folks in Nissan’s design department to see what their favorite artist is, we have little doubt Picasso would be a popular choice. The cubist designs at Nissan have been popular as of late, but don’t expect to see the new Roox model heading to North America to join its big brother Cube any time soon.
Aston Martin has just released details of an upcoming concept car the luxury British automaker is working on… and it’s not at all what you might expect. Rather than a high-powered exotic, this new machine, called the Cygnet, is a tiny commuter car.
The Cygnet is based on the Toyota iQ and while it sounds like an April Fool’s joke, the reality is that this mini-car has a lot of potential. For starters, Aston Martin is working on giving the Cygnet a unique Aston Martin look and a serious luxury interior. No doubt owners, particularly in large European urban centers, could use a vehicle like this and then take their $300,000 DBS out to the country on the weekend.
There is, however, an additional (and very strong) reason the Cygnet may become a reality, and that is the increasingly restrictive fuel-economy regulations in both Europe and the United States. If Aston Martin builds a car like this with what will no doubt be a tiny fuel-efficient engine, it will offset the gas-sucking V8s and V12s that are used in the rest of the company’s lineup.
Currently the Toyota iQ is offered overseas with three engines, the most potent of which makes 99hp from a 1.33-liter gasoline engine.
“Now is the right time for Aston Martin to take this first bold step to embark on this special project – made possible with the support of an organization of Toyota’s stature and capability and the intelligent design and perfect city car package of the iQ,” said Aston Martin CEO, Dr Ulrich Bez. “Much work is still required, but I am confident that this project could become reality in the not too distant future. This concept – akin to an exclusive tender to a luxury yacht – will allow us to apply Aston Martin design language, craftsmanship and brand values to a completely new segment of the market.”
Dr. Bez even alluded to selling the Cygnet like an add-on package to compliment one of the company’s pricier models. “The offering of a ‘Cygnet’ with a DBS, DB9 or Vantage is a unique combination of opposites and a novel transport solution allowing intelligent and sensitive mobility on an exclusive and innovative level,” he said.
According to Automotive News, the Cygnet could be made available to current and prospective Aston Martin owners as early as next year with mass-market sales following the year after. The price of the Cygnet is expected to be around 23,000 Euros – or roughly $32,000.
[Source: Automotive News]
Official release after the jump: