Aston Martin Cygnet from £30k - Geneva 2010
Usually adored, to find an Aston Martin dividing opinion is an unusual event at a motor show. But that's exactly what the Cygnet - the Toyota iQ-based city car - is doing.
The idea is simple enough - not every Aston Martin owner wants to drive their V8 or V12 powered coupe in the city and the Cygnet offers an 'Aston Martin' with more useful dimensions and running costs.
But surely the non-too subtle grafting of Aston Martin badges and a few V12 Vantage style bonnet vents onto a Toyota iQ isn't going to fool anyone? Aston insiders beg to differ, pointing to the fact the Cygnet will be totally customisable, just like a 'proper' Aston.
Indeed, you could have the paint and interior trim matched to your DBS or V8 Vantage, should you so wish. And by next year - assuming the project is signed off - the Cygnet will be made available to non-Aston owners too.
Make no mistake, though, you will need a lot of cash because the range starts from £30k and goes up to £50k for flagship versions. For this Aston is promising 113g/km CO2 emissions, 98hp and 90lb ft from its version of the 1.33-litre start-stop petrol engine that Toyota uses. A six-speed manual gearbox, 970kg kerbweight and sub-3 metre length complete the details.
So much for the Cygnet though. Here at Geneva Aston Martin's charismatic boss Ulrich Bez has confirmed he's going to be staying for another term at the head of the company at the request of the shareholders.
UB10 special editions
And to celebrate his first 10 years at the helm there's a special limited edition 517hp 'UB10' DBS here. 20 coupes and 20 Volante cabrios will be built, all with specially numbered plaques on the sill with Dr Bez's signature on them and special paint/leather.
Then there's the Carbon Black edition V12 Vantage, a car Dr Bez says for the first time makes a black car a colourful event. He's not kidding either, the paint and carbon trimmings adding a wonderfully menacing air to the already aggressive V12 coupe.
Which of these endangered 1970s and 80s cars would you be saddest to see become extinct?
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- Austin Allegro
- Austin Maxi
- Austin Montego
- Austin Princess
- Hillman Avenger
- Morris Marina
- Morris Ital
- Vauxhall Viva