With the Cygnet commuter concept car, Aston Martin have come up with a very clever way to reduce the fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions of their car fleet.
The Cygnet is based on a Toyota iQ city car, with with a Aston Martin nose and luxury interior. At about twice the price of the iQ, the Cygnet will still be cheap for an Aston Martin and could be included as an optional extra with a DBS, DB9, Vantage, or a Rapide.
The V12 Vantage has a combined fuel economy of 16.35 l/100km. The fuel consumption for the iQ is 4.3 L/100 km. So if one Cygnet is sold for every Vantage, the average fuel consumption will be 10.325 L/100 km, a reduction of 37%.
Assuming that purchasers only drive their Vantage on weekends and use the Cygnet during the week (and drive the same amount every day), the consumption would be 7.743 L/100 km, a reduction of 53%.
A cynic might suggest that the Cygnet will not achieve any fuel saving, just sitting in the owner's garage unused, while the larger Aston Martin is driven. However, those drivers are likely to soon find that a city car is faster, has more luggage carrying capacity and more pleasant to drive in the city, than a large grand tourer.
A small car, such as my Daihatsu Sirion, can easily navigate traffic and find small parking spaces. The low power of the 1 litre engine is irrelevant where speed rarely gets above 80 kph. With only one or two people in the car there is sufficient room and the hatchback provides more load capacity than a large car.
If the Cygnet proves popular, there are numerous other small City Cars available which luxury makers could use to build their own small car from. A small luxury car might be commonly included in the purchase price of the larger luxury cars, in much the same way a branded keyring is.