It's not often I feel sorry for motoring hacks whose horizons are filled with Ferraris, Maseratis, Lamborghinis and Porsches - but today this is a thought that ran through my mind.

1988811111 I've driven both the new Toyota iQ and the new Tesla electric sports car on the same day, and it has provided a fascinating view of the future.

I'm not suggesting that the industry will suddenly turn to cranking out cars like these and nothing else, but the comparative speed of their appearance makes it clear that there could be sizeable rump of these new-wave cars on the market quite soon - provided you and I support them.

There's the rub. Each is these is a truly exciting car, but each has drawbacks.

19888101548The iQ strikes me as a classic early-adopter's car, something which costs too much for what it delivers. I say this from the standpoint of someone who became so obsessed with the original Smart that he bought one (for far too high a price) straight off the motor show stand, several years before Mercedes started selling them here.

I've got similar enthusiastic thoughts about the iQ, which is far more practical and better supported, but also too expensive (as we've said) against the likes of a Hyundai i10, plus bulkier and not quite as cute as a Smart. But it's secret weapon is that alongside it everything else seems ordinary.