Toyota Motor Corp. says it has inked a deal to supply its iQ micro-car to British sports car maker Aston Martin Lagonda Ltd.

Aston Martin will sell the car as the Cygnet, which it says will offer customers a “distinctive, intelligent and exclusive solution for urban travel and luxury.”

The iQ, designed at Toyota’s ED2 studio in Nice, France, has been on sale in Japan since October 2008, and was introduced in Europe in early 2009.

In a statement, Aston Martin CEO Ulrich Bez says it is the “right time” for the auto maker to embark on this project.

“Much work is still required, but I’m confident that this project could become reality in the not too distant future,” Bez says. “This concept – akin to an exclusive tender to a luxury yacht – will allow us to apply Aston Martin design language, craftsmanship and brand values to a completely new segment of the market.”

Bez admits offering the Cygnet alongside high-end sports cars such as the DB9 and Vantage is a “unique combination of opposites,” but says it allows Aston Martin to provide an “intelligent and sensitive mobility solution.”

While the deal allows Aston Martin to add a fuel-efficient vehicle to its lineup, it also benefits Toyota by increasing volume at its Takaoka, Japan, assembly plant where the iQ is built.