Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Aston Martin Cygnet

I love driving. It's up there on my list of favourite occupations. Whilst I was in California if I heard about a road with a mountain pass I was so there, even if it meant a massive detour. I like the feeling of being in control, I love the speed & the escapism, and I ended up covering over 4000 miles in the seven weeks I spent in California.(And no speeding tickets. Helps being English when you get stopped.)

Given my family's tastes, it's hardly surprising: my father is a complete petrolhead, who races classic cars, my sister bought herself a sports car when she was a banker & my mother drives something very fast and German.

My dream car has always been a 280SL, more for its gorgeous styling than its engineering and, although I don't want to drive anything that can't overtake a tractor, (although I would make an example for a Cinquecento or a 2CV), the way a car looks is important to me. Certainly as important as the marque.

Which brings me neatly to the just announced new addition to the Aston Martin stable.

The Cygnet.

Yup, joining the ranks of the ravishingly beautiful Vanquish and the Vantage is the Cygnet. Maybe they've called this staggeringly ugly car a Cygnet in the hope that it might grow up to be something more beautiful one day.

As the piece in today's Times points out, car companies can no longer afford to rest on their drooping laurels. They must innovate or wither away. But is this £20,000 ($35,000) entry level car that looks like a first cousin to the Ford Ka the way to go for a company known for luxury & speed?