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Toyota’s super small car “iQ.” Better mileage than Prius at more than 30km/l

4, 07. 2008

   The super small car "iQ," of which Toyota Motor unveiled the concept model in September 2007 at the Frankfurt Motor Show and later drew the attention of visitors at the Tokyo Motor Show in September of the same year, will be put on the Japanese market within 2008. The car is not only so small that it is less than three meters in length but it is made up of a number of things that have not been thought of in car manufacturing in the past.

Car created to solve today's problem of CO2 reduction

The super small car “iQ” is drawing attention
The super small car “iQ” is drawing attention

   All efforts are made in arranging the steering wheel, air conditioner, seats and everything else of the iQ car so that the maximum use of the interior space might be achieved. As a result the car is spacious enough to carry three adults plus one child. Toyota is planning to market the iQ as a car free from concerns about the size or exhaust gas, or conventional way of thinking, according to Kazuo Okamoto, vice-president of the company.

    It can be said the iQ is a car that was created to meet the current age of CO2 reduction. The company is aiming at reducing the carbon dioxide emission of the iQ to less than 100 grams per a kilometer. This would be lower than the 104 grams of the Toyota's hybrid car Prius (by EU standard) and the lowest of all Toyota cars. The iQ would give better mileage than Prius. The Prius runs 29.6km/l by the new JC08 mode, which is closer to actual running than the 10.15 mode. It is certain, therefore, that the iQ would run more than 30km per liter.

   Of the auto mileage regulations of Japan, the U.S. and Europe, it is said the EU's draft of regulations that requires an average of 130 grams per a kilometer for new cars of a carmaker is the severest. The iQ is expected to improve the mileage of all Toyota cars in Europe.

   Besides achieving better mileage, it is also important to meet the demand for downsizing of cars on the domestic market. Downsizing could be more important than improving mileage. The object is "classless eco-cars."

Could be more expensive than larger-sized Passo or Vitz

   It has long been a common acceptation in the world of automobiles that bigger the size and the amount of exhaust gas, the more expensive. The BMW Mini, which is a compact car but priced one rank higher, is an exception, and the Prius is also sold well at high prices for is size. According to a Toyota dealer, many veteran drivers who have been riding Crown cars without changing to other models are found to choose the Prius "as a car of the size that is easy to drive and gives good mileage."

   The iQ is a car with an ordinary engine with a displacement of about one liter (or diesel engine for export to Europe). For its size and lightness with environmental performance and clear objectivity, however, the iQ is meant to transcend the hierarchy of cars just like the Prius. The price is yet to be decided. But it is possible that the iQ would be priced higher than those for the Passo and the Vitz, which are bigger in size.

   The marketing slogan for the iQ will be a "package car of super high efficiency." Entirely new ideas are employed in designing, For example, the passenger seat is moved forward by concaving the inner panel on the passenger-side so that more space is gained for the rear seat. The car industry officials are focusing their attention on the iQ to see if it can give a favourable impact on the domestic car market where the sale is declining.

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