Toyota iQ: The Smallest Four-Passenger Car in the World

toyota-iq-drive-k01.jpg
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).

Update: 57 MPG Toyota iQ Goes on Sale in Europe, No U.S. Release Date Yet
toyota-iq-drive-k05.jpg
Engine, Drivetrain
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.

toyota-iq-drive-k04.jpg

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.

toyota-iq-drive-k03.jpg
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.

toyota-iq-drive-k06.jpg
Toyota iQ Microcar
Spy Shots of the 2009 Toyota iQ Microcar
Toyota iQ: Less is More for Small Urban Car
Toyota
Yes, It's a Hyper-Pimped Out Toyota Prius from Sweden
Toyota to Boost Prius Hybrid Production by 70% Next Year
Toyota Switches Mississippi Plant from SUVs to Next Generation Prius
More on Toyota iQ Microcar
Edmunds
2009 Toyota iQ revealed (updated)

Tags: Japan | Less Is More | Transportation

WHAT'S HOT ON FACEBOOK

treehugger slideshows