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Toyota Introduces Production Version of iQ City Car, Small SUV Concept at Geneva Show

The new Toyota iQ.

Toyota is introducing the production version of its iQ city car at the Geneva Motor Show. First shown as the Concept Car iQ at last year’s Frankfurt Motor Show, the iQ will go into production in late 2008. Toyota is also using the Geneva show to showcase a new small SUV concept—the Urban Cruiser—aimed at “the urban all-roader market”.

The new Toyota iQ measures 2,985mm in length and 1,500mm in height, and features a comparatively lengthy wheelbase of 2,000mm. Delivering a relatively spacious interior in such a compact car required six interlinking engineering innovations.

The six space-saving technologies in the iQ. Click to enlarge.

The six space-saving engineering innovations are as follows:

  • Newly developed differential. A newly developed differential allows the iQ to be built with short front overhangs, which result in a gain of more than 100mm of additional length inside the passenger cabin area when compared to the B-segment Yaris. As a result, the under-hood area is made more compact; the front wheels can be placed at the very corners of the car, which drastically shortens the front overhang; and the passenger compartment can be increased.

  • Flat under-floor fuel tank with rear-angled shock absorbers. The design of the flat under-floor fuel tank has allowed the development of shorter rear overhangs, which contribute to the reduction of the car’s overall length. Historically, a flat tank was considered difficult to engineer successfully because of the variance in fuel surface levels depending on the angle of the car. However, Toyota’s efforts to downsize and find the optimal placement of functional parts resulted in a flat fuel tank that creates significant space savings.

  • Smaller heater/air conditioning unit. Toyota engineers managed to significantly reduce the size of the heater/air conditioning unit without sacrificing performance output. As a result of the size reduction the passenger-side area of the asymmetric dashboard can be moved forward and towards the windscreen base freeing up additional cabin space.

  • Asymmetric dashboard design and sliding seat configuration. The iQ’s asymmetric dashboard was designed to open up the passenger area. The pushed-forward and step-like structure of the dashboard provides sufficient space for the front passenger when the seat is set at its most forward position while comfortably accommodating an adult in the rear seat. Combined with shoulder-to-shoulder distance between driver and passenger of a similar volume to a C-segment vehicle, the unique 3+1 seating configuration creates enough room for three adults and, in addition, either a child or luggage behind the driver.

  • Center take-off steering gear. Toyota has employed a center take-off steering gear and positioned it higher in the engine bay. The gear, engine and differential could then be repositioned creating the iQ’s size-reduced front overhang.

  • Slim seat design. The slimness of the iQ seat backs release a further 40mm of rear passenger room at knee height so that rear passengers can sit more comfortably.

The iQ will offer a choice of two gasoline or one diesel engines. These engines—along with the compact design, low weight, and aerodynamic shape of the iQ—will contribute to low fuel consumption and low emissions of CO2, expected to start at around 100g/km.

The new Urban Cruiser concept.

The Toyota Urban Cruiser is the design preview of the production model that will be introduced in the first half of 2009.

The small-SUV market segment has essentially doubled in size since 2002, according to Toyota. The Urban Cruiser is expected to come in with CO2 emissions below 140 g/km.



Wow! I thought it was a 2-seater (since it was earlier compared to a Smart FourTwo).

Now if only Toyota could go steal some engineers from Mazda or Lotus for handling...


I'll buy an Urban Cruiser with AWD and a Diesel.


The Urban Cruiser looks like a smaller RAV4, the way that car originally started out.

andrew rose

Where are all these hybrid cars that Toyota promised , I seem
to remember the wording was " a hybrid version of every model
by 2010 " , well we are less than two years from that and all we
have is a 4 year old PRIUS ! no PHEV either , no I come to mention
it !
Its starting to look like "green" toyota is just the same as all the
other car manufacturers !


Ding Ding Ding Ding

andrew = winnar

Remember this from 2006, the 100 mpg Prius due for model year 2009. That's September, 6 months from now.


This is the sort of car that should be exempt from congestion charges - very very small ones.


Very nice. We can always use more room even in a small car. If they keep this up, the inside will be bigger than the outside!

100g/km of CO2 emission will give them the bragging right again.

Billy K

When will we see some cars like this Toyota? I think they are ignoring the US market since all the growth is in developing countries.

At the same time Toyota should realize the reason Scion sales are bad after the redesign has alot to do with the oversized engines they dropped in them.

Where are the American small cars? The Yaris and Scion models are huge. Can't we get something smaller (not necessarily cheaper) like this.

If its because of safety concerns just make a bumper like a spike at the level it would hit other cars or SUVs. Seems kill your neighbor has been American car companies view toward safety. A Hummer is no different than a few spikes off of a small car. We can call them "Freedom Spikes."

If you get hit by these monstrosities watch out US government and car companies. One day someone is finally going to bring in some lawyers and put these big ass vehicles where they belong, private roads.


Great- now offer the iQ in the USA. The (not-so)Smart Fourtwo is a joke! Room for only two occupants, 0-60mph in 14 seconds, and no better average fuel economy than a quicker, more useful 4-door Yaris.

This iQ at least gives you the option of a small 3rd seat. Nice packaging.

The Urban Cruiser, on the other hand, looks just like the Scion Xd that's been on the US market since last fall. Nothing earth-shattering in terms of utility, or economy there.

If Toyota applies the 6 space-saving features of the iQ across their entire line-up they would have class-leading interior room and/or they could eliminate the need for their largest vehicles. Down-sizing is a good trend! When will the rest of the automakers catch on?

Well done Toyota!


Actually, it is an optional 4th seat (suitable for a child?).

I fear for a rear impact on this thing though. Spikes...haha, I like that; sure would keep all the tailgaters at bay.


WOW- I stand corrected: 3 seater with the option of a 4th small seat.

For comparison:
iQ vs. ForTwo
Length: 117.52" vs. 106.5"
Wheelbase: 78.74" vs. 73.5"
Height: 59.06" vs. 60.7"

So essentially an extra 11" in length bought 1+1/2 additional seats. Incredible packaging Toyota!!!

Looks like Toyota will use a similar 3cyl 1.0 engine as the ForTwo. Performance and economy will depend on keeping vehicle mass low.

Price it under $12k (to keep it under the Yaris) and you've got a sure winner in the US.


Urban Cruiser = Scion XD. They are just trying to sell the car we already get in Europe.

John Taylor

A nice thing about this car is that the design is near perfect for a conversion to BEV. *(Battery Electric Vehicle)

Replace the flat gas tank with a battery pack, and the ICE with an Electric motor and wow, a great little BEV.

Bob Bastard

Wow, an Urban SUV? Jesus W. Christ! I wonder who the marketing genius was who decided there was a need for such an abortion of a vehicle segment.
But bravo on the design of the IQ. It should potentially have excellent handling with the way the wheels are pushed all the way to the corners.


urban cruiser is a lifted xd,already available in Japan(ist)


Comparing the Aygo 1.0l petrol 68bhp against the Smart Fortwo 71bhp 1.0l (US version ?) as well as the 61bhp versions:

fuel consumption (l/100km combined), CO2 (g/km), mass (kg), price (euros)
Aygo68: 4.6, 109, 840, 9000
Fortwo71: 4.7, 112, 750, 10600
Fortwo61: 4.7, 112, 750, 9500

If Toyota put the same 1.0l engine in the IQ as the Aygo, it should run circles around the Fortwo. The Aygo outdoes the Smart, despite weighing substantially more, at powers both above and below its 68bhp. Since the Aygo actually costs less than the Fortwo, you'd actually end up spending less to have 3 seats instead of 2 and better fuel economy...

so it looks like the iq is a smart with 3+1 seats and a real engine and a more honest price.......



I doubt having an optimum wheel setup (at the corners) will make up for the compromises on suspension setup Toyota typically makes.

compare corolla vs civic, focus, mazda3 or lancer in stopping distance, roadholding, slalom and track times.
compare camry vs accord, fusion, or mazda6 for the same.

Bob Bastard

Patrick, good point. I have test driven all of those cars except for the Lancer, and I have to say that the Mazda3 had the best ride by far, and the Corolla was the worst, although I was underwhelmed with the handling of the Civic compared to previous generations I've driven. I'm not very impressed with my Prius' handling, either, although I always assumed that this was due to its weight and excessively high center of gravity (a trait that seems to be shared by almost all new cars these days.)

tom deplume

Things seem so much bigger when metrics are used. 40 mm looks so much bigger than 1 1/2 inches.


Hey Joseph, did you actually READ the Edmunds link you posted?

The link mentions that Toyota *reportedly* is developing a 100mpg Prius. KEY WORD being "reportedly".

Don't blame Toyota, blame sloppy reporting for this. Toyota has never officially stated the 3rd gen Prius would achieve 100mpg.


Will we see the Toyota iQ here in the USA? Given the likelihood of US$4.00/US gallon prices this summer, the fact the SMART ForTwo has a waiting list longer than one year here in the USA, and the fact Toyota wants to make the iQ pass stringent crash test certification, we could see it sold in the USA within the next 18 months, possibly as a "premium" city car under the Scion label. Can you say Scion iQ?


...step in the right direction, small car outside, big car inside with a "premium" like interior as well. I always wondered, why small economical cars had to have a cheaply designed interior looking like a cheap toy for three year olds.

Harvey D

Kael-Uwe & DieselHybrid:

Could you also compare with the new Fiat 500?



When will we see an EV or PHEV ver of the Toyota IQ?
Impressive as it is, it is just another petrol/diesal car. At least the Smart car is road testing an EV version of their car.

Brian Russell

The gas tank in the floor worries me a little. It could be damaged on a rough road. Otherwise I'm really impressed with the iQ.

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