2009 Toyota iQ - At The Paris Auto Show
Toyota Europe released the complete details about the new 2009 Toyota iQ at the 2008 Paris Auto Show (Paris Mondial De L'Automobile) on October 2 (see photo). In one day, automotive journalists went from knowing only partial information about the iQ to understanding its complete specifications, which Toyota had kept a closely guarded secret up until that time. The Toyota iQ is a 3 adult + 1 child car with an overall length of 2985 mm, overall width of 1680 mm, a height of 1500 mm, and a 2000 mm wheelbase. In the 1.4 L D-4D diesel version, the iQ is impressively quick at 170 km/h (106.3 mph).
Toyota's Chief Engineer for the iQ, Hiroki Nakajima, says the iQ will appeal to "people who demonstrate independence in their choice of lifestyles and values." Toyota expects that most iQ buyers will be young affluent city dwellers who are looking for efficiency, technology and a compact size for their transportation needs. For Toyota, the iQ represents the Japanese design philosophy of miniaturisation, minimalism, and a harmony between small and spacious with high technology and human ergonomics, which they call j-factor.
The iQ will go on sale in January 2009 in Europe and there has been no official release date announced yet for North America. Toyota will inititially offer the iQ with two engines, a 1.0 L VVT-i 3 cylinder 68 DINHp gasoline engine (petrol) with either a 5-speed manual or a multidrive CVT transmissions, and a 1.4 L D-4D 90 DINHp turbo intercooled diesel engine with a 6 speed manual transmission. In 2009 they will release a further gasoline engine in the form of a 1.33 L Dual VVT-i motor with start-stop technology. The 1.0L gasoline engine with the 5-speed manual transmission is capable of a combined fuel economy of 4.2 L/100 km (56 U.S. MPG) and this with 99g/km of CO2. The D-4D diesel engine gets 4.0 L/100km (58.8 U.S. MPG) and emits 104 g/km when fitted with the diesel particulate filter.
ABS brakes are standard equipment on all iQ models, along with brake assist to reduce the required reaction time to help prevent collisions. For dynamic safety, the iQ is equipped with traction control (TRC) and Steering Assist (VSC+) that helps maintain vehicle stability for the driver. The iQ's brakes are 255 mm discs on the front, and either 259 mm disc brakes or 180 mm drum brakes on the rear, depending upon the target market.
All iQ's come with air conditioning as standard equipment along with a standard equipment 6 speaker radio/cd player. There are two equipment levels in the iQ and the highest level is called iQ2. The rear seat back in the iQ is a 50/50 fold down type. Additional features on the iQ2 are start-stop technology, automatic airconditioning, and retractable mirrors.
Although the iQ has an overall small shape, Toyota has compensated for this by offering exceptional safety technology on the iQ. The iQ has 9 air bags and an industry first SRS Window Curtain Shield air bag that protects the rear passengers from shattering glass in the event of an accident. Toyota has also engineered integrated high tensile steel head rests in the iQ to provide excellent head support for the front seat occupents in the event of an accident. Toyota is aiming for a 5-star Euro NCAP crash test result in upcoming tests.
Toyota released the sales prices (cost) for the new iQ at the Paris Auto Show. Toyota has priced the 68 hp VVT-i 3 cylinder gas engine - 5-speed manual transmission iQ at 12,980 euros base price. The diesel 90 hp D-4D iQ with a 6-speed manual has a base price of 15,180 euros. The iQ has a kerb weight as low as 845 kg (1860 lbs) and for 2009 there will be a choice of three available exterior paint colours: Pearl White, Metallic Black, and Amethyst.