Senior sources have revealed to Autocar that the Toyota iQ could form the basis for another, larger car.The iQ is virtually a unique product, sharing little with any other Toyota, and no car maker would make such a huge investment in a car that will only sell 100,000 units per year. So it was not a great surprise when the sources confirmed that a bigger version of the iQ was possible. Such a move would also put the Toyota in direct competition with the VW up! range.Toyota sources also told Autocar that there would not be a hybrid version of its iQ city car. That’s partly because there is no room for a battery pack (the iQ is just 2.99m long), but also because the battery would be heavy, undermining one of the main engineering points behind the iQ: weight saving.When the iQ arrives early in 2009 it will be powered by a choice of two petrol and one diesel engine. All will be ultra-clean, meeting upcoming Euro 5 and Euro 6 pollution limits. A stop-start system will further improve economy.The iQ project started back in 2003, for a market slot that Toyota described as “small yet premium”. One senior Toyota source said he expects the car to be priced “between the Fiat 500 and the Mini” and Toyota expects to sell as many as 500,000 examples of the iQ and its upcoming baby SUV in 2009.

Read the full story in Autocar 30 April