The challenge for the future is the development of a means whereby history and the 21st century can exist together. The centres of the world’s most cultured, vibrant and exciting cities are dense, layered spaces steeped in history. These cities are untouched by the sweeping changes that marked the introduction and eventual dominance of the private automobile. Yet the fact remains that the most prestigious workspaces, residences, boutiques, restaurants, and museums draw their quality and richness from their location, buried deep within the urban tangle, with little space for parking or manoeuvre. The most vivid and evocative locations exemplify this; London’s Bond Street was laid out in the early 18th century, while Paris’s Marais dates back to the 16th century. Even the great city landscapes that were born out of the modernising industrial impulse of the 19th century, such as Berlin’s Hackescher Markt, dating from the industrial revolution, or Milan’s Quadrilatero della moda, are primarily suited for small cars. All these places share one quality: they are unrivalled for their culture, quality and atmosphere, environments that can never be replicated or imitated.
Nevertheless, the modern city was founded on mobility, a core component of human development. Without mobility, the city withers, and communication and trade ceases. Yet in addition to mass transportation, personal transportation will continue to contribute enormously to society. Travel will remain synonymous with leisure and pleasure, with responsibility and business, with progress and vitality. The need to use the appropriate product for the right time and place is becoming the most intelligent and progressive use of resources.
The car was a late arrival on the urban scene, infiltrating spaces where character, history, geography and culture have thankfully prevailed over reconstruction or dramatic change. The true city environment is not and never has been a place where the traditional sporting qualities of an Aston Martin can excel. Aston Martin’s sports cars thrive in the context of a thrilling open road, the sensation of driving, the pleasure of the journey and the relationship between driver and machine. The Aston Martin Cygnet Concept redresses the balance offering Aston Martin qualities and values in a car that is designed for the heart of the city.
The Aston Martin Cygnet Concept brings intelligence, innovation and artistry to the small car market. As social and cultural shifts accelerate, the market for diverse mobility products will expand, shifting how the market perceives the small car. Small cars will lose their association with value engineering and economy, and move upmarket.
It is essential that Aston Martin continues to diversify its product offering. The Aston Martin Cygnet Concept provides the ultimate city car solution, a solution designed explicitly for the urban context. At the same time, the Cygnet Concept retains the intensely emotional and personal qualities that arise from the Aston Martin customer’s close relationship with the specification and manufacture of their product. The Cygnet Concept presents a high degree of feasibility, representing how a series production Cygnet could appear. Cygnet is a tailor-made solution, a car that has been cut from the same cloth as its sports car siblings, using the very best available technology and the finest materials. Initially proposed for the highly environmentally conscious European market, the Cygnet is a both an emotional and an intelligent choice, a car for the Aston Martin owner who demands the best product for every application.
The Cygnet Concept is the result of a unique and intelligent collaboration, the coming together of two companies that are leaders in their respective fields. The project has required a close intellectual and engineering partnership, resulting in an inventive solution that unites volume and niche automotive engineering.
The Cygnet Concept is small. At just under three metres long, the car is a highly refined piece of packaging, designed to make fast progress within dense European cityscapes. With four seats and a highly intelligent interior, the car can be configured in a number of different ways, allowing for a 2+2 seating system, a 2+1 seating system or a 2-seater with large luggage area.
The Cygnet Concept has a 1.3 litre 4-cylinder engine, offering CO2 emissions of 110g/km and combined fuel economy figures of 58.9 mpg, with a power output of 98bhp. The Cygnet Concept has a six-speed manual gearbox, with the MultidriveTM CVT system available as an option. The Cygnet Concept comes with an acclaimed technology package as standard, including a satellite navigation system, iPod integration and a powerful six-speaker radio/CD player.
The Cygnet Concept is a demonstration of Aston Martin’s unrivalled skill at creating hand-crafted interiors. The rich mix of hand-stitched leather, Alcantara and aluminium is shared with Aston Martin’s sports cars. The company’s extensive experience of traditional processes and richly detailed craftsmanship gives each Aston Martin a unique feel, bringing together detailed design work, high technology and exquisitely tactile materials.
Like all other Aston Martin cars, the Cygnet Concept is not hand-finished out of deference to tradition, but because skilled craftsmanship can achieve a far higher quality of finish than machine production. It also means the Cygnet is fully open to Aston Martin’s personalisation programme, allowing for practically any combination of interior and exterior trim, colour and finish to be completed to an exacting personal specification. In this way, a customer’s Cygnet can be designed to precisely compliment their Aston Martin sports car, sharing the same bespoke specification.
Aston Martin believes that a market for between 2,000 and 4,000 Cygnets exists in Europe alone, with each car forming a natural extension of existing Aston Martin ownership, a supplementary product that exists in tandem with the company’s range of luxury sports cars. A substantial proportion of Aston Martin owners have several cars in their fleet; almost a quarter own a small car. The Cygnet Concept represents the natural choice for those looking for a premium commuter car and initial supply will be prioritised to existing Aston Martin customers.
As part of the brand’s commitment to its future security and stability, Cygnet production will be established at Aston Martin’s global headquarters in Gaydon, Warwickshire. Using donor cars shipped directly from the Toyota factory in Takaoka, Japan, the Cygnet programme will involve new investment in both facilities and manpower at Gaydon.
The Cygnet Concept points towards an exciting future for Aston Martin, illustrating the potential for highly crafted products with a very specific function without detracting from the company’s commitment to its core business of luxury sports cars. Instead, the Cygnet represents the ultimate luxury city car, a device that not only enhances the qualities of Aston Martin’s sports cars but the urban experience city itself, a tailor-made machine for the most discerning of city dwellers.
As a luxury commuter car that can slip easily and unobtrusively into the city, the Cygnet Concept is a highly intelligent solution to urban mobility. Using tried and tested technology, together with Aston Martin’s acclaimed levels of personalisation and customisation, material quality, craft skill and tactile delight, the Cygnet Concept is innovative and forward-thinking, a genuine solution for future mobility and a natural partner for Aston Martin’s line-up of acclaimed luxury sports cars.
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