Aston Martin Announces a New, and Instantly Unpopular, EcoCar

Today, British luxury carmaker Aston Martin announced its partnership with Japanese auto industry leader Toyota on a small, new commuter car concept dubbed the Cygnet. Aston Martin’s first mini-car is to be based on Toyota Motor Corporation’s tiny Euro-car, iQ, which went on sale in January.

The three-seater Cygnet, which will have an estimated base price of more than $ 32,000, according to Motor Trend, is being promptly trounced by car enthusiasts, who apparently are not ready to be herded into politically correct, post-Obama automobiles the size of a walk-in closet.

Judging by Motor Trend magazine’s online forums, the pricey little Cygnet has been met with criticism from the overwhelming majority of readers, who replied that the concept car (which looks like another hybrid of a golf cart and an angry, oversized insect) is "ugly", "overpriced" and "stupid". One reader wrote that he lost all respect for Aston Martin. Another initially thought it was an April Fool’s joke.

In fact, it is merely another in the series of new cars coming in the wake of massive new government regulations dictating how businesses make cars.

For their part, Aston Martin—once highly regarded for manufacturing high-concept cars for the James Bond 007 film series—insists the Cygnet concept taps “a creative, environmentally conscious solution, being small, yet with presence – and highly fuel efficient, now combined with the prestige of Aston Martin’s luxury brand ownership.”

Aston Martin Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Ulrich Bez said: “Now is the right time for Aston Martin to take this first bold step to embark on this special project, made possible with the support of an organization of Toyota’s stature and capability and the intelligent design and perfect city car package of the iQ.” Bez admitted that, as he put it, “much work is still required.”

However, the Cygnet is not yet welcome by those who will be asked—or, for all practical purposes, forced—to subsidize, buy, and drive the expensively miniature “environmentally conscious solution” on wheels. As one contributor to a British car blog, Pistonheads, forecast, admitting that it may meet government ecological regulations on CO2 emissions, “no one will buy it.”

If current trends continue—no one will have a choice.

[Sources: Motor Trend, Aston Martin]

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