Rebadging is a practice most automotive industry buffs aren’t a fan of (including us). One of the most striking examples of it happening lately has been with Aston Martin and Toyota. Many have questioned if the Cygnet minicar is a real Aston Martin, and the answer is no it definitely isn’t.
Aston Martin didn’t branch out on its own to develop the Cygnet by itself; it partnered with Toyota to make use of its iQ minicar. While there are some styling differences between the iQ and Cygnet, they are still basically the same car.
The iQ is sold as a Toyota globally, but here in the United States Toyota is choosing to sell it under its youth-oriented Scion brand. Scion is also the brand Toyota selected to sell the rear-wheel drive “FR-S” (the final production name hasn’t been decided) sportscar developed in partnership with Subaru.
Minicars haven’t done well in the U.S in the past, but that isn’t stopping Scion from giving it a try. Pricing for the iQ has just been released and according toit starts at $15,995. The car’s U.S sale has been delayed to due to issues regarding the Japanese tsunami and earthquake. However, the iQ first hit West Coast Scion dealers this October. Launch will slowly spread across the country from there, stretching into next year.
The Midwest, where trucks rule, will unsurprisingly be the last to get the car. Scion is hoping the iQ will gain a following in the youth market, and plans for the car to be well-equipped at its base price. One cool feature on is integration with music streaming service Pandora.
High-end models will have a navigation system available – we wonder how high the iQ will be able to be optioned out. That $15,995 base price is a bit above competitors like the Fiat 500 – and if you ask us, we’d definitely choose that over the iQ.
UPDATE: 2012 Scion iQ Review