Although you probably think of Aston Martin as a brand that makes beautiful, cool sports cars — the brand of James Bond, perhaps — that hasn’t always been the case. Aston Martin has made some very bizarre vehicles over the years — and today I’m going to show you the five weirdest Astons.
Any Aston Martin Made for the Sultan of Brunei
Throughout the late 1980s and 1990s, the Sultan of Brunei commissioned various vehicles from several different automakers — including Rolls-Royce, Bentley and others. In fact, the Sultan had Bentley build him an SUV long before they made one for the general public. But the Sultan’s Aston Martin models were maybe the weirdest, as he commissioned a series of bizarrely-styled one-off Aston models that we don’t know much about, 20 years later. Google "Aston Martin Sultan of Brunei" and you’ll turn up a few photos of these oddities — but not much other information.
Aston Martin Cygnet
The Cygnet is undoubtedly the strangest Aston Martin in history, and one of the strangest luxury vehicles, period. In a bid to reduce corporate average carbon dioxide emissions, Aston partnered with Toyota to create the Cygnet, which is just the tiny Toyota iQ (sold in North America as the Scion iQ) with a lot of high-end touches and surfaces throughout. Yes, that’s right: Aston Martin sold a tiny city car that was little more than a luxury Toyota. Not surprisingly, sales were horrible, and the Cygnet will surely go down as one of the all-time most unusual vehicles from an "exotic" brand.
Aston Martin Lagonda
The Aston Martin Lagonda was sold throughout the late 1970s and 1980s, and it is quite possibly the most bizarrely-styled sedan in history. While most cars of the 1970s were bulky and round, the Lagonda was sharp and futuristic, and it surely turned heads back then — especially considering its price tag, which was well north of $300,000 in today’s money. The Lagonda also featured a bizarre interior and a lot of other strange touches — like the fact that it was technically its own brand, with "Aston Martin" not appearing anywhere on the car.
Aston Martin V8 Zagato
Aston Martin has teamed up many times with Italian design house Zagato, usually with gorgeous and stunning results. One time when the results weren’t so stunning was the V8 Zagato, which came out in 1986. Zagato was working with an ancient vehicle, the Aston Martin V8, and they modernized it well for the time period — but the sharp, square design has aged poorly, unlike virtually every other Aston Zagato model. Only 89 examples of the Zagato were sold throughout its 5-year production run, likely due to the massive cost to buy such a "special" limited-production Aston Martin.
2012 Aston Martin Virage
The Aston Martin Virage was an especially odd vehicle for Aston Martin to release in 2012. While it looks similar to other Aston Martin models, it was unusual because Aston Martin was already selling the DB9 and the sporty DBS — both of which already used this design. The Virage was intended to slot between the two cars, but nobody really understood how that made any sense — including Aston Martin, who quickly canceled the car and promised wider market segments in the future.
Doug DeMuro is an automotive journalist who has written for many online and magazine publications. He once owned a Nissan Cube and a Ferrari 360 Modena. At the same time.