cygnet---dynamicAston Martin plans a mammoth step down-market with the Cygnet, a reworked version of Toyota’s subcompact iQ.

Wise decision or over-zealous gaffe? To say definitively one or the other yet would be premature, but to car enthusiasts around the world, it certainly seems to be the latter.

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Consider that a sub-eighty-thousand dollar Aston Martin would and should rev the engines of just about anyone who’d ever aspired to own a Bond car and the conclusion is, truly, that sports car fans are entirely out of luck.

Incidentally, car enthusiasts aren’t really part of the equation Aston bosses are contemplating with this ugly duckling. This high-end commuter car based on the Toyota iQ is touted as a forward-thinking, environmentally responsible option; the ‘green’ alternative that remains upscale… or just another bauble for the missus.

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On the other hand, the interior does a commendable job of bringing the Toyo up-market. It is, perhaps, the only area where this concept shines. Imagine it with diamond-stitch alcantara inserts rather than the concept’s hexagonal print material… and opting for some saddle leather rather than red would create quite the looker.

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Aston’s commitment to traditional techniques and quality materials is evident in most of the interior, though seems entirely out of place in this vehicle. This mismatch of interior and exterior prompts one wonder if any modification to the exterior necessary at all. Would this project not work as well in a Toyota iQ with “Interior by Aston Martin” tastefully inscribed on the dash?

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There is no doubt the concept has incited more than a few to ask, “What was Aston Martin thinking?” After Toyota’s announcement that they are pushing the iQ further down-market by offering a Scion-badged example, Aston might be asking themselves that very same question.

What's on your mind?