(Updated October 3, 2008 - From Paris Auto Show)
The new Toyota iQ, which goes into production at the end of 2008, will go on sale in January 2009 in Europe. The iQ establishes the automotive trend for efficiency in urban transport body shape, and the benchmark for outstanding fuel economy. The best overall combined fuel efficiency on the 1.4 litre D-4D diesel iQ is 4.0 L/100 km (58.8 U.S.MPG / 70.6 Imp MPG) and a pure highway efficiency of 3.5 L/100 km (67.2 U.S. MPG / 80.7 Imp MPG). The 1.0 litre VVT-i petrol (gasoline) iQ gets a combined fuel economy of 4.3 L/100 km (54.7 U.S. MPG / 65.7 Imp MPG) with a pure highway consumption of 3.9 L/100 km (60.31 U.S. MPG / 72.4 Imp MPG). The Toyota iQ can carry up to three adults and one child and measures a short 3 metres (2985 mm or 9 feet 9 inches) in length and 1680 mm (5 feet 6 inches) in overall width.
The iQ will initially be released into showrooms with either the 1.0 L gasoline engine or the 1.4 L turbo diesel. An additional 1.33 L dual VVT-i gasoline engine will become available later in 2009 with start-stop technology. Although there has been no indication of this from Toyota, the iQ looks like the chassis platform that could also become Toyota's first electric car. If Toyota does offer an electric or plug-in hybrid version of the iQ in the future, the car will run on pennies.
Where Toyota has really excelled is in delivering the iQ's functional requirements in an efficiently packaged body design that saves on weight and space. The front differential is a new design that is compact in width, allowing for the front wheels to be placed at the front corners of the body, providing increased space to the front passenger compartment.
Toyota has also reduced the overhang at the rear of the iQ by mounting an under-floor flat fuel tank, which also has the potential on an electric or hybrid version of the iQ to be the location for under-floor batteries. Toyota has also designed a very compact heater and air conditioning unit that allows for the dashboard unit to occupy less space within the passenger compartment, and they have created thin front seat backs to allow for more rear passenger seat room.
The Toyota iQ has been designed to meet the 5-star safety rating of the EURO NCAP for crashworthiness. The iQ has 9 airbags, including a first ever SRS rear window curtain shield. Toyota expects worldwide to sell 100,000 iQ's annually, and they have stated that the Toyota iQ will have outstanding fuel economy. The lowest C02 emissions on the iQ are 99 g/km for the 1.0 L gasoline 5 speed manual transmission model, and the iQ 1.4 L diesel engine produces 103 g/km or 104 g/km, when fitted with the diesel particulate filter.