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Toyota Uses Its iQ

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Toyota iQ Photo: Sean Frego
By Mike Meredith
The world’s smallest 4-seat car, the Toyota iQ, is ready for production by the end of 2008.
Click image to enlarge
Toyota iQ Photo: Sean Frego
Toyota iQ Photo: Sean Frego
Click image to enlarge
Toyota iQ Photo: Sean Frego
Toyota iQ Photo: Sean Frego
Click image to enlarge
Toyota iQ Photo: Sean Frego
Toyota iQ Photo: Sean Frego
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Toyota Urban Cruiser Photo: Sean Frego
Toyota Urban Cruiser Photo: Sean Frego
Click image to enlarge
Toyota Urban Cruiser Photo: Sean Frego
Toyota Urban Cruiser Photo: Sean Frego
Click image to enlarge
Toyota Urban Cruiser Photo: Sean Frego
Toyota Urban Cruiser Photo: Sean Frego

First shown as a concept just last year at the Frankfurt Motor Show, Toyota debuted the production version of the iQ that it describes as the “world’s smallest 4-seater.”

 

The tiny city car is less than 10 feet long and features an innovative 3+1 seating configuration with the flexible interior accommodating up to 3 adults plus one child or luggage. Offering a surprising amount of interior space, the iQ incorporates six engineering innovations that reduce the space needed for the drive system while increasing the interior volume by looking at both the size and the location of components.

 

A redesigned differential reduces the amount of space in the engine compartment, as does the smaller heater and air conditioning unit and the compact steering system. Additional interior room is gained with a flat, under-floor fuel tank and angled rear shocks.

 

Interior space is maximized through an asymmetrical dashboard design and sliding seat configuration combined with a slim seat design. The dashboard design allows the passenger seat to be moved forward to accommodate a second adult passenger in the rear seat. At the same time, there is room for a child or cargo behind the driver’s seat.

 

Innovative Design and Fuel Efficiency

Toyota describes the design language of the iQ as “Vibrant Clarity” which is answer to the conflict between dynamic and energized on the one hand, and rational and ingenious on the other, when designing a vehicle. iQ is also influenced by “J-Factor” which is explained as the aspect of Japanese originality and quality that creates modern, attractive and appealing products.

 

The result is a bold design for such a small vehicle with an overall look that is both high-tech and refined, including 5-spoke 16-inch alloy wheels. At the same time, the iQ is engineered to meet the top 5-star safety rating of EURO NCAP.

 

Toyota describes the interior styling as “techno-organic” with elements such as the V center console that houses an LCD display for airflow, dual air vents and a 5.8-inch color touch-screen satellite navigation display.

 

The flat-bottom steering wheel gives the driver extra legroom and the audio controls on the steering wheel save space on the center console. A storage tray is located under the rear seat which is split 50/50 for versatility. The interior is a chocolate-plum color with matte silver accents, including the door handles with manta-ray styling.

 

Set to go on sale by the end of this year in Europe, the iQ will be offered with a choice of powertrains including two gasoline engines and one diesel engine that will deliver outstanding fuel economy with low CO2 emission, targeted at 100 grams of CO2 per 100 kilometers (62 miles).

 

European Premier of Urban Cruiser, Plug-in Hybrid

A small environmentally responsible SUV, the Toyota Urban Cruiser offers a preview of the production model that will go on sale in the first half of 2009. Designed as a vehicle for urban dwellers who desire all-road capability, the Urban Cruiser aims to address environmental concerns with low fuel consumption and low CO2 emissions, aiming to be under 140 grams per kilometer.

 

A prototype based on the Prius, Toyota also displayed a Plug-in Hybrid Vehicle (PHV), a small number of which are currently being tested as part of the fleet of French energy supplier, EDF. The real-world test is intended to develop solutions for the commercialization of Toyota’s PHV technology.

 

Toyota also displayed the 1/X Hybrid Plug-in concept vehicle which combines the benefits of lightweight vehicle construction with PHV technology and Flexible Fuel Vehicle technology. The goal of Toyota engineers is to make the 1/X twice as fuel efficient as the Prius with fuel economy better than 2.17 liters per 100 kilometers (over 100 mpg).

 

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