It’s the car that thinks it’s a curry! It’s the new Toyota Aygo X and available flavours include cardamom, chilli and ginger (pilau rice and naan bread extra). Toyota says it’s all part of a plan to “spice up” (geddit?) the small-car class.
Clearly then here is the wackiest new car of the year so far. Inspired by exotic spices, sporting a black roof and derriere, a retractable canvas top and enough body cladding, skid plates and ground clearance to flatter something aimed at the real jungle rather than merely the urban variety, the Aygo X is Toyota’s newest, smallest and most cross-looking crossover. “Everybody deserves a cool car,” Toyota Europe’s head of design tells us.
The Aygo X is based on the Aygo X Prologue we saw in March this year. That was a concept but one clearly destined for production, as confirmed by the showroom-ready model you see here. It’s been changed hardly at all.
That means the high-riding baby crossover stays with its unusual bi-colour paint treatment. Unlike the retractable canvas roof, which is an option, the black roof and rear end are obligatory. Toyota says it is not a gimmick but an integral part of this new car’s design.
And what about those paint colours for the front half of the car? Cardamom (the one in the pictures) is the mild one for more refined tastes (it says here). Ginger is the warm option, and Chilli the fiery one. There’s also a Juniper choice, a blue which goes for an icy coolness. Interior colourways and trim match the exterior paint so there’s no escaping the supposed spiciness.
The Aygo X is 235mm longer than its predecessor and it packs a lot of design impact into a body 3.7m long and 1.7m wide, rolling on 18-inch wheels. Urban agility promises to be a strong suit, with a turning circle of 9.4m (about 30ft). Toyota says the longer body (the car based on the Yaris platform) means more elbow room and a bigger boot than before, while the higher seating position affords a clearer view out.
Like other Aygos, under the bonnet is a 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine driving the front wheels via CVT automatic transmission or a manual gearbox. This 1,000kg car is pulled along by just 72PS (53kW). The special JBL audio system isn’t far behind on power with 300W. Zero to 62mph? A yawn inducing 15.5 seconds.
The Aygo X, designed and made in Europe, arrives in the new year with a limited launch edition model in showrooms first. It will be fully loaded with all the good gear – touch screen, latest connectivity functions, a mass of safety-assist features – and be finished in Cardamom with a side order of orange accents inside and out. It might not be hot but it does promise to be flavoursome…