Saturday, November 1, 2008

Toyota iQ concept and small car

The Toyota iQ is a city car unveiled at the 2007 Frankfurt Auto Show. The car was designed by ED2, Toyota's design studio in southern France. Toyota claims it is the world's smallest four-seat car, though one of the passengers must be a small child, unlike the Smart Fortwo which can only seat two people .
The iQ is equipped with miniaturized technology to help free up interior space. The design is intended to place emphasis on low fuel consumption, maneuverability and environmental friendliness. The iQ gets 59 MPG (4.36 l/100km) by european standards. While a panoramic glass sunroof was featured on the concept version of the IQ, it is not included on the production model.
The iQ went on sale in Japan in October 2008 and is believed to be the first model in a series.
In Europe, the iQ will be offered with a choice of two petrol engines and one diesel. CO2 emissions for the 1L 5spd are 99g/km. It has a 3.9 m (13 ft) turning radius. Same engine as Aygo, 998 cc 3 cylinder, 67 bhp (50 kW/68 PS), 67 lb·ft (91 N·m) at 4800 rpm. 0-100 km/h 14.1 seconds.
The iQ has been designed to meet Euro NCAP’s top five-star safety rating.
A newly developed differential allows the iQ to have a more compact engine compartment and front wheels placed at the very corners of the car, with very short overhangs.
The iQ has a centre take-off steering gear, positioned higher in the engine bay. The gear, engine and differential could then be repositioned, giving the car a shorter front overhang.
A flat under-floor fuel tank has allowed shorter rear overhangs to be developed, helping reduce the car’s overall length.
The size of the heater/air conditioning unit has been significantly reduced, without sacrificing performance. As a result, the front passenger area can be moved forwards towards the base of the windscreen, freeing up additional cabin space.
A rear window air bag has been implemented to protect backseat passengers from rear end collisons.
UK sales are scheduled to start in January 2009 with an estimated £10,000 price tag.
The iQ may be brought to the North American market as a Scion. There are also reports from Toyota engineers that the iQ platform will serve as the basis of the next generation Toyota Yaris as well as a possible subcompact hybrid.