Toyota's ground breaking premium city car keeps the concept alive
4 March 2008

The finished version of Toyota’s new iQ city car has just been launched here at the Geneva motor show. And it's barely changed from the clever, cute concept that we were introduced to in Frankfurt last year. The iQ is the ‘world’s smallest four-seater car’, boasts its maker, measuring just 2985mm in length. To achieve such tight packaging, Toyota’s engineers have come up with a clever cabin system that allows three adults and one child to sit in comfort, despite the iQ’s diminutive, almost Smart car dimensions. They’ve also miniaturised components like the air conditioning; developed a flat under floor fuel tank; come up with a new differential that allows the iQ to have short front overhangs, and slimmed down the dashboard and seats. You can read in more detail about the iQ’s packaging on Hilton Holloway’s Geneva blog. Introducing the assembled global media to the iQ, Andrea Formica, Vice-President of Toyota Europe said it was the most “major milestone” in Toyota’s vehicle development since the Prius. He added that the iQ would have a “large effect on the market, but a small effect on the environment.” And if Toyota’s projected sales figures ring true, by the end of 2009 the company will sell at least 100,000 iQs per year. Each will use a small, fuel-efficient engine which Toyota claims will return 99g/km CO2, potentially making the iQ road tax exempt in Britain. It’s also designed to achieve five stars in the Euro NCAP safety tests. We’re expecting a price tag of around £10k when the iQ goes on sale at the end of this year. The iQ is the crucial part of Toyota’s global marketing strategy to sell 500,000 small cars per year (including the Aygo and Yaris) by 2009. A further new addition to the company’s small car line-up is the Urban Cruiser, which was also launched in Geneva. It’s a compact SUV that’s less than four metres long and is based on the Yaris. Toyota says it will offer a best-in-class emissions figure of 140g/km CO2 maximum, even on the four-wheel-drive version.The Urban Cruiser will be on sale in the UK from early 2009.

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Comments
5

4 March 2008

Remember the original Mercedes A Class ? And remember the infamous 'Elk Test' ? How well does Toyota think this offering is going to do !?!

GD

4 March 2008

Sorry, but what's the big deal? Unless my conversion back to feet and inches is wrong, this car is only 4 inches shorter than the original Mini. So, take the bumpers off the Mini and you're almost there. The Mini packaging provided space for four adults, rather and just three plus a child. Where is the advance in fifty years?

GB

5 March 2008

[quote Matt Prior]

"Where is the advance in fifty years?"

Much as I love the original Mini, try crashing in them both and you'll have some idea.

[/quote]

Especially if you remove the bumpers as suggested above ;-)

5 March 2008

I can't see all the fuss. First of all, those headlights look a bit strange. Secondly, I'm not sure it would be much more spacious than a Smart; those rear 'seats' would not be very useful. Besides, I would like to ask all of you who are reading this post what Fiat showed us a few years ago in the Trepiuno? A compact dash with a 3+1 seating arrangement...I'm sorry, but it seems that the Japanese just can't resist copying European manufacturers.

 

- Follow your own star -

8 March 2008

The iQ is simply how the Smart should have looked.

If anyone needs any proof of who is ahead these days in automotive design - Europeans or Japanese - this is it.

Roy.

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Our Verdict

Toyota iQ

Is the Toyota IQ the small car revolution which its maker claims it is?

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Driven this week