The AMOC web forum went ballistic, post after post, page after page – no thread progressed and grew like this. The idea of an Aston just for the city, dare I say, a sensible Aston Martin, exclusively suited to the cut and thrust of the urban environment had challenged many members and owners. Was AML selling out or adapting to the future demands of the market place, legislation and the environment? Was 95 years of performance centred motoring being dumped for a fast buck? The downturn that began with the ‘Credit Crunch’ in 2008 damaged sales of high end motor cars greatly and no manufacturer in the sector was immune; AML was quick off the mark with the Cygnet, perhaps it could fill the gap in demand until people desired and could afford sportscars in greater numbers again. Everyone had an opinion and they have all been expressed most strongly but development of the project continued at Gaydon regardless. It has to be said that the Cygnet is not a totally brand new fresh design but is strongly based on the Toyota iQ, an ultra-compact city car of similar proportions to the Smart ForTwo.
First view of the finished Cygnet concept was at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show where the single concept car drew much attention. By October 2010, the factory announced that production would indeed go ahead at the Gaydon factory beginning before the end of the year. The finished production version was subsequently unveiled at the 2011 Geneva Motor show with cars available for customers in the UK and Europe simultaneously. New Cygnet owners were buzzing around the city’s of Europe by Spring 2011. Customers outside of Europe were able to buy the Cygnet later in 2011, although plans to market in the US were dropped.
Sadly, initial customer demand for the Cygnet did not reach the sort of levels initially anticipated by Aston Martin and thus production slowed to just a trickle within just a couple of years. By September 2013, the car was quietly dropped from the range with no plans for a replacement: it is believed that only around 800 were constructed. Although the Cygnet has become an odd footnote in Aston Martin history, it has also been tipped as a desirable future classic too especially with such a short production run. Once, franchised dealers were struggling to sell them, now they are becomming harder to find and prices have crept up. Time to add one to your collection?