guide to the interlinked engineering and design innovations in
the remarkable new iQ city car concludes with details of its
space-efficient slim seat design.
mission to build the world’s first car to measure less than
three metres long but with four seats inside, Toyota maximised
every last millimetre of space.
Using a new
differential design and a centre take-off gear allowed for a
smaller engine bay and reduced the distance between the front of
the bumper and the accelerator pedal, allowing for more room
inside the cabin. And designing a flat, under-floor fuel tank
gained valuable extra space behind the front seats. A smaller
but no less efficient air conditioning unit freed up more
legroom ahead of the front seat passenger and enabled a clever
asymmetrical dashboard to be designed.
this network of ingenious, connected packaging concepts, Toyota
produced a new, ultra-slim design for the front seats. Their
lean profile gives rear seat passengers an extra 40mm space at
knee level, compared to conventional seats.
The seats are
built on an all-new frame, with full adjustment of their
separate parts to ensure that space is not gained at the cost of
comfort. Their design also yields a weight-saving benefit of 1kg
In spite of
its small dimensions, iQ is the fruit of some very big ideas in
how to design and engineer small cars. Success in creating a
vehicle that is less than three metres long, yet has space for
four seats on board was made possible thanks to a series of six
interlinked technical and packaging innovations, pioneering work
that rewrites the rulebook on car design.