It would appear that even the Aygo supermini isn’t immune from the crossover treatment.
In an age where crossovers are king and the lines between defined automotive segments are getting blurred by the day, it should therefore come as no surprise that even the smallest of cars on the roads of the future gets the same jacked-up high-riding treatment. With one such example being what Toyota has recently revealed with its new Aygo X Prologue concept.
Designed by the Toyota’s European Design Studio, ED², this concept does retain a few key design highlights of its predecessors, like the sheet glass tailgate flanked by vertical LED taillight clusters, the two-tone paint scheme and the wheel-at-each corner silhouette. What is the big new thing though for the Aygo, if this particular X Prologue concept car were to enter production, is the huge new 19-inch alloys that are to be found tucked beneath the massively flared arches at each of those corners.
The largest wheels to ever be fitted to this small Japanese supermini, they further emphasise the off-road aesthetic Toyota seems to be going for with this jacked-up subcompact crossover. Other off-road inspired design highlights that feature on the Aygo X Prologue concept ranges from the mundane, like the contrasting skid plates and raised roof rails; to the never-ever-making-it-into-production, which includes the action cameras integrated within the door mirrors and a pop-up bicycle holder integrated within the rear bumper.
Now it has to be said though that despite all these adventure-type add-ons, this Aygo is nevertheless still resolutely a car built for the concrete jungle instead of the actual jungle. A place where mud would not mess up its new simplified front fascia, with its C-shaped LED headlights linked by a continuous LED strip, aw well as its hexagonal LED fog lights and retractable door handles.
Speaking of door handles, not much is known about what is on the other side of them as Toyota has not provided any interior shots or details of the Prologue X concept. Powertrain specs for the upcoming production version of the Aygo has however been confirmed by the Japanese automaker to solely be of the internal combustion variety.
To sit on the same TNGA-B platform this time as its larger hybrid-only Yaris sibling instead of sharing its platform with PSA like its predecessors, the decision to forgo any electrification for the new Aygo is supposedly to make this city car more in line with its affordable roots as being Toyota’s cheapest new car in Europe. That said, it is still perhaps an interesting one for the Japanese automaker to make considering that most cities are banning the use of purely ICE cars in the near future.
Set to officially debut in Europe either at the end of this year or in the beginning of next year, it will certainly be interesting to see how much of this supermini crossover concept will actually make it into production. Seeing as crossovers are selling like hotcakes though, it would come as no surprise if the Japanese automaker manages to retain its A-segment leadership in the continent with this new higher-riding design.
PRESS RELEASE: Located near Nice on the French Côte d’Azur, ED² is Toyota’s European Design studio. For most of the 21st century, Toyota has been a leader in the A-segment in Europe. Committed to the future of this segment, it tasked ED² with the challenge of bringing its European vision of the segment to life. The demand was to look at it with fresh eyes. To define and imagine what the A-segment could be for European customers by fulfilling their needs and their desires. And, to prove that cars that have traditionally been called “entry point” can still lead with stand-out design.
“With the Aygo X prologue, I believe we’ve demonstrated that a small car can still be big and bold in personality” (Ken Billes, Assistant Chief Designer ED²).
Building on a Style Icon
Since its launch in 2005, Aygo, Toyota’s most accessible car, has charmed youthful, progressive customers with its sense of playfulness and fun.
“Fun and playfulness has always been at the heart of Aygo. Now, we’ve added to its DNA an additional pinch of hot spice” (Lance Scott, Design Director ED²).
Appealing to a style-conscious audience, Aygo’s lively character and engaging driving dynamics have attracted many new European buyers to Toyota. But, the unique DNA and stand-out positioning of Aygo depend upon always staying ahead of the competition. More than ever, new Toyota customers are demanding flair, distinctiveness, and the chance to make a personal statement. Building on the A-segment’s leading style icon position, ED² set out to design a car specifically for them.
A dedicated team with a clear mission
ED² assigned a dedicated team to focus on a unified message from start to finish and they became quickly convinced that there was an opportunity to bring a bolder and stronger design. From this conviction, Aygo X prologue was born.
Bringing increased spice to the segment
The Aygo name has always symbolised personal freedom and mobility. With the Aygo X prologue, an additional cheeky mischievousness is added to the mix. It’s just as fun, and it’s now got an added edginess to it. From every angle, it expresses its attitude, with a strong personality and an even stronger stance. By bumping up the size of the wheels, the driver enjoys a higher eye point for greater visibility, as well as improved clearance for whatever the road may bring.
Styled to stand out
Whether from front, rear or side, the mischievousness of Aygo X prologue stands out. A bold bi-tone execution creates a unique graphic profile that grabs attention in the street by emphasizing the car’s readiness to leap forward into action. A new wedged roofline also increases the dynamic feeling for a more aggressive sporty image. While at the front, high-tech lamps hug the upper hood to form a wing-like shape. Lower to the ground, the large grille, fog lamps and skid-plate, all building on the hexagon theme, show that this is a car ready to go. Anywhere.
Practical and ready for tomorrow’s free spirits, Aygo X prologue also offers the features that will further enrich their freedom. A rear skid plate houses a bicycle-holder mount, so that escaping the everyday can always be turned into an adventure. Meanwhile, housed in the door mirror is an action-camera, perfect for capturing and sharing moments of exploration.
Finally, an integrated roof rack accentuates the vehicle’s profile, as well as creating a visual link with the hexagon tail lamps, a subtle reminder of the Aygo DNA.
The Colours of emotions
In life, colours are central to our emotions. This is also true for Aygo X prologue. To bring the “spicy” concept to life, certain ingredients naturally presented themselves. The top four were chilli, ginger, wasabi and black pepper. Spiciest of all is “chilli”. Moreover, use of bi-tone was an additional invitation to take colour balances to another level. In Aygo X prologue, colour is taken up yet another notch by the inclusion a fine sprinkling of blue metallic flake into the paint mix. The resulting dazzling effect makes the colour fully deserving of its name of “Sparkling Chilli Red.”
“I’m a customer as well as designer. So, I helped design the Aygo X prologue to be the car that I wanted… for me” (Momoko Otawara, Colour Material & Finishing Designer ED²).
Working together differently, and better
The challenging project of creating the Aygo X prologue under present conditions has been a great test of ED²’s agile process of fast and fluid design development. Whether together or remotely, ED² design team worked seamlessly from hand-sketching to digital sketch-modelling, to virtual reality simulations, to 3D “speedshapes”, right to the final car itself.
Designed in Europe, designed for Europeans
“Everybody deserves a cool car. When I look at the Aygo X prologue, I’m really proud to say that ED² Team created exactly that. I’m excited to see it revolutionizing the segment” (Ian Cartabiano, President ED²).
Aygo X prologue is a bold illustration of just how much attitude a small car can have. With this prologue, Toyota reimagines how the A-segment could be spiced up.