Aston Martin Cygnet – Click above for high-res image gallery
According to Automotive News, the smallest Aston Martin ever made will be coming to the U.S. market in 2012. Initially, Aston Martin had only planned to offer the Toyota iQ-based Cygnet in Europe as an option for customers that need to drive into city centers with congestion charges. Since Toyota will begin selling the iQ in North America in 2011 (badged as a Scion), it should now be straightforward for Aston Martin to certify the Cygnet as well.
Having the Cygnet in its lineup will also help Aston Martin balance its corporate average fuel economy numbers although, as a low volume manufacturer, it is exempt from meeting the new CO2 limits until 2016. A year after the Cygnet debuts with a 1.3-liter inline-four, a zero-emission, battery-electric version is also expected to arrive. The battery-powered Cygnet should provide Aston with enough ZEV credits to offset a chunk of the emissions from its luxury sports cars and sedans.
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[Source: Automotive News – sub. req'd]