Toyota has launched the Aygo, their version of the supermini co-developed by Toyota, Peugeot and Citroen.

The Toyota Aygo is a car which answers all the demands of modern urban living, being highly practical and easy to park while delivering a dynamic driving experience and offering a cool modern design. Measuring 3,405mm long, 1,615mm wide and 1,465mm tall, it is the smallest car Toyota has marketed in Europe.

The Aygo marks a new approach for Toyota in several aspects. It has the potential to attract customers younger than the average Toyota driver: Toyota expects 80 to 90 per cent of Aygo owners to be new to the brand.

Aygo’s styling expresses Vibrant Clarity, a new Toyota design philosophy.  “Japanese culture, or what we like to call the ‘J-factor’, forms the foundation for Toyota’s unique design direction, Vibrant Clarity,” said Wahei Hirai, Managing Officer of the Toyota Design Centre.

Aygo disproves the view that small cars are purely about economy by focusing on the fun and enjoyment compact vehicles can deliver. The body has a low line that emphasises the wheel flares; shortened overhangs and a cab-forward design help achieve a roomy interior within an overall compact exterior.

The front end design displays the new face of Toyota, with a strong three-dimensional form that flows from the Toyota badge.

The interior is in the same spirit as the exterior with a compact instrument panel with a two-tone finish. The car’s character is further expressed in the cylinder-shaped heated control unit and the simple, modern graphics used on the meters.

The door trim carries over the exterior body colour to give the cabin a sporty feel that’s also shown in the design of the steering wheel and gear lever. The adjustable steering column and principle meters form a single unit, which means the dials remain in clear view.

Toyota has used a new graining finish on the dashboard that is not only more attractive but which also sets new standards for scratch resistance, ease of cleaning and resistance to ageing.

The modern, clean design of the seats creates a figure-hugging effect, and the upholstery is both highly durable and of excellent quality.

The Aygo’s interior was developed to accommodate passengers of all sizes, including very tall people. Achieving a large amount of usable interior space has been helped by the car having particularly short front and rear overhangs. Passenger comfort is heightened thanks to one of the most generous measurements between front and rear hip points of any A segment car.

The cabin features plenty of handy storage spaces, including four door pockets, eight trays, three cup holders, a coin case and large vanity mirrors.

In the UK the Aygo will be offered in three grades: T2, T3 and Sport. All come with a generous range of equipment as standard and can be enhanced with a wide choice of options.

T2 versions of the car are equipped with ABS and EBD, colour keyed bumpers, driver and front passenger airbags, power steering, a heated rear window with wiper and two-speaker audio system with radio and CD player.

The T3 model introduces colour keyed door mirrors and handles, electric front windows, a 50:50 split-folding rear seat, remote central locking, rear headrests, ISOFIX child seat anchor points and an upgraded sound system with two rear speakers and front tweeter speakers.

The Sport adds more street style to the package with five-spoke alloy wheels, front fog lamps and a tachometer. Air conditioning and metallic paint are optional on T3 and Sport grades.

Two enhancement packs have been developed to help create the ideal Aygo.  The Travel pack includes a glovebox bag with CD pocket, trolley bag on wheels and a rucksack, all developed in partnership with the renowned Samsonite brand.  Meanwhile, the Navigation pack features the TomTom Aygo, a portable navigation system that’s easy to use with touch-screen operation. This option also provides a three-year package for warranty and map updates, body-coloured screen frames and integration of the dashboard and radio unit.

The Aygo is offered at launch in July in three colours: Ice Blue, Carbon Quartz and Chilli Red.

The Aygo is aiming to achieve the highest score in the A segment in official testing for impact protection. It features Toyota’s Minimal Intrusion Cabin System (MICS), a safety structure that reduces the risk of serious injury in an impact. This system also features in the Avensis and Corolla Verso models, both of which achieved the top five-star rating in Euro NCAP tests.

The Aygo features comprehensive passive safety provisions with driver and front passenger airbags fitted as standard, with additional side airbags and ISOFIX child seat anchors standard on T3 and Sport models. Aygo is also equipped as standard with a seatbelt warning system with buzzer, a rare feature in A segment cars. The Aygo is also aiming for the best pedestrian impact protection in class, too. Design features to help achieve this include an energy absorbing structure in the front bumper, which deforms to channel impact forces and reduce leg injuries to a minimum.

Braking performance benefits from latest generation ABS and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution, fitted as standard to all Aygo models. The car’s headlights also provide one of the best illumination ranges in the segment.

Although Aygo is a compact city car, it rivals vehicles from higher segments in many areas. For example, its construction has a large high tensile steel content and most of the bodyshell is formed in galvanised steel. In addition, the rocker panel has a larger cross section that gives a more solid appearance and provides better anti-chip protection.

The Aygo is powered by an all-new 1.0-litre VVT-i (Variable Valve Timing – intelligent) three-cylinder engine that delivers 67bhp at 6,000rpm and 93Nm of torque at 3,600rpm. At 69kg, it is also the lightest engine available in a production car today.  It will also allow the Aygo to achieve record low fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions in the petrol A and sub-B segments: 61.4mpg and 109g/km are the combined cycle driving target figures.

A revolutionary engine mount system drastically reduces the levels of noise and vibration. Instead of the conventional three-mount design, Aygo uses a mount on each side, positioned on a line that passes through the engine’s centre of gravity. The third engine mount at the bottom of the engine bay is replaced by a torque rod that efficiently suppresses the engine’s rotational movement during idling and acceleration.

From early 2006 Aygo will also be available with a 53bhp diesel engine, supplied by PSA Peugeot-Citroen. It is a development of a current PSA 69bhp 1.4-litre engine and the reduction in power improves reliability and brings emissions in line with Euro IV requirements.

Multi-mode Manual Transmission (MMT), Toyota’s manual transmission driven directly by electric motors, is available in Aygo. The system has automatic clutch operation and gives the driver the operation of fully automatic (E) mode and manual (M) mode. It is a less expensive alternative to conventional automatic transmissions and makes driving in busy city traffic much easier.

Electric Power Steering (EPS) is standard across the range. Along with a tight turning radius of 4.73m, it contributes to the car’s great manoeuvrability, ideal for town driving.

Toyota has sought to achieve very low running costs and is targeting the segment’s lowest insurance groups for Aygo in the UK by securing the cheapest repair costs.  The Aygo 1.0 VVT-i will also require one of the lowest cumulative maintenance times in its class at 4.2 hours up to 60,000 miles, ensuring low labour costs compared to rival models.

For added peace of mind, every Aygo is protected by Toyota’s three-year/60,000-mile pan-European warranty, plus a 12-year anti-corrosion warranty.

Toyota Financial Services is preparing several schemes tha
t provide young, first-time buyers with more options to buy an Aygo. These include Trade Cycle Management, a special type of loan which allows the owner to change cars every two years, at no extra cost.