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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.


Duke Steele

I own a 2006 xA and I love my car. But, if Toyota offers the IQ here, I'm on it.


I'd buy one in a hot second if they come to the U.S.

John P

I just sold my 2006 Xa, and bought a honda civic Si. If they come out with this though, I will have to get it as a daily driver. For some reason I really like having a tiny car

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