No ugly duckling
The Cygnet is like no other Aston Martin. It's just three metres long and powered by a 1.33-litre engine delivering (just about) 100 brake horsepower through a six-speed manual gearbox or automated CVT. But, like the Zagato, the Cygnet has been rebodied by a styling specialist. Aston Martin takes Toyota's iQ city car and changes every body panel except the roof. Then the same people at Gaydon who stitch the leather interiors for the sports cars put together a luxury cabin - to the customer's exact requirements. It carries Aston design details such as the curved metal grille, elongated side strake and inverted rear lights, and takes 150 hours to build - compared with 200 for the DB9. With its wide track and short wheelbase, it's stable and fun to drive - and, at HK$675,000, it's an iconic brand for a reasonable price. Aston hopes the demo car will arrive in Hong Kong in September, with customers' cars from early 2012.