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Top 10: Mutton dressed as luxury lamb

The Aston Martin Cygnet was a brave experiment. The ideology behind its creation was straightforward enough - to offer existing customers the opportunity to extend their garage portfolio by offering a city car to match their DB9, Vantage or One-77. The company often spoke of its iQ-based mini car as a the equivalent to a mooring dinghy for the most exclusive of yachts.

But for those who didn't quite understand the £30,000-plus mini car, with a beautiful and bespoke interior, it just looked like poor value for money, and a cynical marketing exercise. Of course, Aston Martin is far from the first - and it won't be the last - carmaker to attempt to build a 'groundbreaking' luxury car out of a more humble small car. Alongside the Cygnet, we line up 10 earlier cars that prove luxury is much more than skin-deep.

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Rapport Ritz (1980-1981)

The Ritz was an excellent idea, no doubt fuelled by the fast-rising fuel prices in the wake of the second energy crisis of 1979, which rendered large and thirsty cars near-unsaleable. Chris Humberstone penned a new-look front and rear end for the Honda Accord-based car, which featured a Forte-like headlamp cover, which gave the car a racy look.

Needless to say the Ritz failed to find a meaningful number of buyers, not just because it was expensive and was all-too-obviously based on the Honda Accord, but also because it was plain expensive, just as the early 1980s recession began to bite in the UK. It's unknown how many were sold, but it's probably a good bet it was fewer than 10.

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