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Three new models to carry Aston Martin through next year

Thanks to the current state of the automobile industry — and the rest of the global economy, for that matter — Aston Martin’s ambitious global sales goals have veered off course, but the British automaker is hopeful that a trio of new models will help get the company back on track.

Marking what could be the oddest and most controversial tie-up in automotive history, Aston Martin is moving forward with its own version of Toyota’s iQ minicar. Dubbed the Cygnet, the tiny Aston Martin is expected to begin production next year. As a part of the tie-up, Toyota will ship iQs to Aston Martin’s Gaydon, England factory where the city runabouts will receive Aston’s signature grille — along with a few other exterior tweaks — and a thoroughly reworked interior. No changes are planned for the car’s powertrain.

Sales are expected to be Europe-only, with the Aston-badged iQ expected to carry a price tag of $32,000 — roughly double the price of a standard iQ model.

Following the brand’s image much closer, Aston Martin will begin sales of its new Rapide sedan next year. The Rapide four-door made its word debt at the Frankfurt Motor Show last month and is expected to hit the U.S. market in spring 2010. Official pricing has yet to be announced, but the Rapide is expected to be priced from about $230,000.

Lastly, Aston will launch its long-anticipated One-77 early next year. As the name implies, Aston will only produce 77 example of the One-77, with production expected to kick off by year’s end. In addition to the One-77’s supercar performance — provided by a 740 horsepower 7.3L V12 — the One77 will carry a price tag befit of a supercar, retailing for about $2 million.

No major changes are planned for the DB9, DBS and Vantage — save for a new V12 for the latter — so Aston Martin’s new trio will have to pull the automaker through the current market lull.


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