Toyota iQ: Coming to Japan and Europe
The Toyota iQ, which was unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show, will go on sale in Japan in October and in Europe a few months later. Lets have a closer look.
Big Space in Small Package
Unlike the Smart Car which can only seat two people, the Toyota iQ has 4 seats, though only 3 of those can accommodate adults. The last one is better used for a small child, a baby seat or a grocery bag. Still, not bad for a car that fits somewhere between the Smart and Yaris in lenght (117 inches).
Three choices of engines and transmissions are in the plans right now. According to Edmunds:
The 2009 Toyota iQ is really meant to enhance Toyota's presence in Europe, and this market will get the choice of an iQ with either a 1.0-liter inline-3 with a five-speed manual transmission or a turbocharged 1.4-liter inline-4 diesel with a six-speed manual. In mid-2009, a 1.3-liter inline-4 with variable valve timing will become available, and it'll feature either the six-speed manual or a continuously variable transmission (CVT). Meanwhile, Japan will get the 1.0-liter inline-3 matched with a CVT.
[...] we can expect the 1.0-liter to produce around 70 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 69 pound-feet of torque at 3,600 rpm. The 1.4-liter turbodiesel will generate approximately 89 hp.
For those concerned about safety, despite its small size, the Toyota iQ received a 5-star safety rating in Euro NCAP testing.
Considering that the iQ weights 1,962 pounds, these engine choices, despite their modest HP ratings, should be more than enough to give a good driving experience.
How Green is It?
According a Toyota engineer, the 1.0-liter gasoline iQ should record 54.1 mpg on the European driving cycle (99g/km of CO2), while the more powerful 1.4 turbodiesel should get 52.3 mpg (106g/km of CO2).
That's pretty good, though in Europe Toyota will have a lot of competition, especially from small diesels.
How Much will the iQ Cost?
The expected price is $13,000, though we won't be sure until Toyota confirms it. We think Toyota should bring the cover over to North-America. Maybe in limited quantities first if they want to test the waters, but we're pretty sure it would sell in urban areas.
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