CAR (UK)

Aygo returns to rescue the city car

Concept signals return of mega-selling mini

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Don’t be too hasty in writing o the petrol-powered city car. Toyota’s Aygo X Prologue is a confident concept that previews the next-generation Aygo, and emphasises Toyota’s insistence that it’s still fully committed to the A-segment. Rivals such as the Ford Ka+ and Renault Twingo are falling by the wayside, and Peugeot and Citroën, whose 107/108 and C1 were partnered with previous Aygos, are not joining in this time around. They’ve all been put o by the challenge of making small cars profitable while meeting CO2 rules and crash safety regulation­s. Toyota, though, has made a roaring Europe-wide success of the Aygo since 2005, and is confident it can maintain the momentum with a production version of the Aygo X Prologue, expected later this year and very likely to be hybrid-only. The concept was designed in less than a year by Toyota’s European Design and Developmen­t Centre, whose president Ian Cartiabano says: ‘It’s an icon for us, especially in Southern Europe. It would be foolish of us to leave the segment. The nature of European cities is not changing. Spaces are still tight.’ The main visual changes are hints of SUV ruggedness. Cartiabano: ‘A lot of A-segment cars overdo the “cute”, and look soft and overly friendly.’

 ??  ?? Concept rides on 19-inch wheels, but is shorter than a Yaris
Concept rides on 19-inch wheels, but is shorter than a Yaris
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