The Toyota IQ concept, unveiled in the Frankfurt Auto Show last year, was shown in a production version this month at the 2008 Geneva Auto Show.
Is this our future? Small cars that we drive only in the city, that cost less, pollute less, drive slow and have fewer accidents?
The production model of the Toyota IQ, according to Toyota Motor Europe senior vice-president Andrea Formica, "the world's smallest four-seater passenger car. Its clever seating configuration takes three adults plus a child, in less than 3 metres."
The Toyota IQ is a two-door four-seater, but less than three meters long. It makes up this compact length by placing the fuel tank beneath the floor, a newly-developed differential, and a smaller air-conditioning unit, which give more interior spacing. The front passenger seat can be pushed forward to create more legroom for the rear seat. So how small is this smallest four-seater passenger car? How does it compare to the other Japanese girls car (Nissan Pino)?
See how it sizes up next to this pretty girl? If you're the customer taking the Toyota IQ out for a spin, you can ask the brunette to sit next to you in the passenger seat. Naturally you won't be so rude as to leave her blond friend behind, will you? So push the brunette's seat a little forward and you can have the blond sitting behind her....at this point if a third girl wants to join you all for the drive, the only way she can fit in behind the driver's seat is if she's really small and tiny. Like a child.
For this reason Toyota label the IQ as having a 3+1 seating capacity; namely 3 adults and 1 child.
Toyota will build the iQ in Japan, and expects to make 100,000 cars in 2009, its first full year of production. Toyota hopes its small size will make it attractive to urban drivers. Unlike the other small car, the Tata Nano, which is all gasoline, the IQ has a gas-electric 500cc plug-in hybrid engine. It gives the IQ a fuel economy meeting the 5-star rating in Europe and CO2 emissions of 99g per km. These emission standards are far better than Toyota's earlier hybrid, the Prius, which emits 104g per km.
The Toyota IQ is targetted at Europe initially, since this is the market where the Toyota Prius has had a good run so far, selling 32,000 cars in 2007 to environmentally-aware urban customers.
Monday, March 10, 2008
Posted by Chrissy at 8:36 PM