Toyota hasn’t bottled it, thank goodness. This first photograph of the iQ shows that the production version of this fascinating mini has kept all the cheeky charm of last year’s show car, which won CAR’s concept car of the year gong.
The iQ at 2007’s Frankfurt Motor Show wowed us for its fresh design, its simplicity and its back-to-basics overhaul of how a small car could be engineered. We reckoned it was the smartest tiny tot since the original Smart Fortwo. Only one picture has been released ahead of the iQ’s production debut at the Geneva Motor Show on 4 March 2008, but it proves that the Japanese have retained the essence of that impressive concept car.
Toyota iQ: here this year
Production of the new iQ kicks off at the end of 2008, and the real thing is as tiny as the concept. It measures less than three metres in length, and has even kept the radical 3+1 seating system, thanks to a cleverly sculpted dashboard and repackaged airbags that let the front passenger seat sit further forward. Although the Fiat Trepiuno (the precursor to the 500) had a similar system, it will be the first production car to have it.
You can buy an iQ from spring 2009, but it’s price won’t be as small as its Smart-challenging footprint. We hear it’ll cost from £8500 – placing it firmly above the Yaris. Less is sometimes more, but we reckon it’ll be worth it for one of the most interesting cars of 2009.
Click ‘Next’ to read about Toyota’s new Urban Cruiser - a new, sub-RAV4 4x4 to be shown at Geneva
Toyota Urban Cruiser
Watch out small SUVs – Toyota is bringing its Urban Cruiser to Europe as a sub-RAV4 soft-roader. This isn’t a world debut, but it’s the first time this car has been seen over here and it’s designed to be a 4x4 that’s more eco-friendly. Small weight and dimensions mean lower consumption and emissions, is the thinking.
Not all versions will be four-wheel drive, as front-drive will be fitted to basic models. The most likely powerplant is a 1.5-litre petrol engine. There’s space in Toyota’s range for a new, smaller 4x4 since the latest RAV4 grew in size and price.
Expect the Urban Cruiser to roll into UK showrooms in 2009, priced from around £14,000.
CAR is reporting all the previews from the Geneva Motor Show 2008 - and will be reporting live from the show on 4 March 2008. Come back for all the latest news and reviews