One of the hits at this year’s LA Auto Show is the Toyota iQ. It is the
Japanese car of the year, and it will likely be sold under the Scion name
when it comes to the United States.
Why consider this upcoming automotive offering? As the name “iQ”
implies, it has intelligent design and will get about 55 mpg on the highway!
The new iQ has style and innovation (left / right brain dynamics). This car
is only 175.5 inches in length which is a mere 11.4 inches longer than the
Mercedes Smart Fortwo. What the iQ has that the Smart car does not,
however, is that it will transport four people. Toyota has pulled this off
by shrinking the mechanicals under the hood thus allowing for maximum
interior space given the car’s exterior dimensions.
The iQ has a conventional front transverse mounted engine.
However, rather than the transmission being located behind the engine
as is common practice, it is located in front of the engine. This results in
the transmission differential housing not intruding into the passenger area
and eating up space. Additionally, the steering rack has been located up
high, the starter is integrated into the flywheel housing, and the air
conditioner compressor is located in the dash. The result of these design
applications means a smaller engine bay and more interior volume.
The iQ is wider than competing small cars thus providing extra shoulder
room. Since the rear seat is located at the back of the car, there will be
nine airbags some of which will provide protection behind the rear seat
in the event of a rear end collision.
The IQ coming to the US will have a 1.3-liter engine making about 100 hp.
At about 1,900 lbs., the car will have reasonable acceleration and excellent
fuel economy on the highway.
Toyota has vast financial resources some of which the auto manufacturer
has put to good use with a car that represents a high iQ in design.
If you want to move into the future in a smart way, be sure to put this car
on your list!
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