The original AYGO, launched in 2005, was smart, simple, great value to buy and super-cheap to run. It won international awards and a big following, especially among young drivers. Its successor has all this, plus a generous helping of something often lacking in small cars – charisma. Unveiled in 2014 with the cheeky instruction to Go Fun Yourself, the AYGO shouts individuality at the top of its voice.
Improving on the original car’s best qualities, the car comes wrapped in adventurous styling, dominated by a giant ‘x’ across the front. The effect is bold, playful and very, very Japanese. According to Toyota chief engineer David Terai, his goal was to “create a car that people fall in love with [and] design a car that only the Japanese can do”. His design team embraced modern Japanese culture or ‘J-Culture’, and by drawing inspiration from Manga comics, Anime cartoons and the ‘cuteness’ of Kawaii illustrations (popularised by brands such as Hello Kitty), they produced a small car quite unlike any other on the road.