The final production version of Toyota’s revolutionary iQ makes
its debut at the Paris motor show today. Last seen as a
near-final design at the Geneva show earlier this year, iQ is a
city car that is so innovative that – like the Toyota Prius – it
stands as a major milestone for future vehicle development.
thinking behind iQ turns conventional car design on its head.
Toyota engineers went to extraordinary lengths to redesign,
re-engineer or relocate components to achieve their goal of a
car that is less than three metres long, yet has four seats
inside with no compromise on space, comfort or driving fun.
iQ redefines what a car should be in today’s era of congested
cities and increased environmental awareness, not least by
achieving carbon dioxide emissions levels that start at 99g/km.
At the same time it is fun to drive with outstanding dynamics
and advanced powertrain technology.
Nakajima, iQ chief Engineer, explains: “For the development of
iQ my research for a design concept befitting a stylish and
small, sophisticated car began by envisioning the customer. My
theory was that the group of people most suited to this car’s
style, small size and premium edge would be described as
‘post-modern’ – people who demonstrate independence in their
choice of lifestyle and values.”
iQ can be
ordered from now, with delivery taking place in January 2009.
Full-year sales volume for Europe is expected to be around
Five years ago Toyota launched a programme to radically improve
vehicle packaging, focusing on breakthrough solutions for
miniaturising key vehicle features. The outcome of this project
formed the basis for the development of iQ.
was a new kind of city car, one that would accommodate four
people within an overall length of less than three metres. The
result was a landmark solution that will have a long term
influence on Toyota’s future vehicle development. iQ is the
ultimate expression of refined, yet environmentally efficient
extraordinary interior space in a car that measures just 2,985mm
long, 1,500mm high and 1,680mm wide is a tribute to the
determination and ingenuity of Toyota’s design and engineering
The fact it
can carry four people (three adults plus a child) in comfort and
safety at motorway speeds, is just the beginning of the story.
Starting with a clean sheet of paper, Toyota has created an
ingenious and distinctive new city car. And with its
proportionally large, 2,000mm wheelbase, iQ has a compact yet
muscular stance that is like no other car.
represents the essence of Toyota’s J-factor heritage, which
embraces the finest elements of Japanese aesthetics, such as
miniaturisation and modernism. Most importantly it brings
contradictory elements into harmony, such as “small yet
spacious” or “hi-tech yet human”.
J-factor is the foundation of Toyota’s Vibrant Clarity design
philosophy, through which long-standing paradoxes are resolved,
such as how to create vehicles that are energised and dynamic,
but at the same time rational and ingenious.
One of the
three key elements of Vibrant Clarity is Freeform Geometrics,
which can be seen in iQ’s techno-organic design, for example, in
the “manta ray” styling of the centre console.
outside another element comes into play – “Perfect Imbalance of
Proportions”. Large wheels are placed at the extreme corners of
the vehicle to give a robust stance that belies the car’s
J-factor aesthetic minimalism, iQ will be available from launch
in three exterior colours: White Pearl Metallic, Black Metallic
and Amethyst Metallic (more colours will be available later).
INNOVATIONS PRODUCE A BREAKTHROUGH IN VEHICLE PACKAGING
front-mounted differential allowing extra space
take-off steering gear for compactness
profile, 120mm-high underfloor fuel tank
ultra-slim seats for greater leg room
cent smaller heater/air conditioning unit
Asymmetric dashboard design and sliding seat configuration
remarkable interior volume is down to its comparatively long
2,000mm wheelbase and short overhangs – 530mm at the front and
455mm at the rear. Interior length from the rear end of the
instrument panel to the hip point of the rear seats is an
impressive 1,238mm. To achieve this breakthrough, six
space-saving engineering innovations were developed.
Integrating the front-mounted differential in a conventional
transmission layout allowed iQ to be built with an
ultra-short front overhang. This reduced overall length
while at the same time increasing the length of the
passenger compartment. Ingeniously this not only reduces the
amount of space required for the engine compartment, it also
allows the large diameter front wheels to be positioned at
the far corners of the vehicle. This shortens the overhangs,
which in turn improves stability and manoeuvrability.
centre take-off steering gear and placing it higher in the
engine bay means the transmission, engine and differential
could be repositioned. The engine compartment could then be
made considerably smaller, further reducing the front
Traditionally fuel tanks are located underneath a car’s rear
seats. By making the tank flat, reducing it to just 120mm in
height and solving the problems of rapidly changing fuel
surface levels that such a design would normally create, the
tank could be relocated under the floor. iQ’s fuel tank has
a 32-litre capacity, giving an ample driving range. Angling
the rear shock absorbers backwards allows interior rear
space to be increased.
slimness of the seatbacks frees up an extra 40mm of rear
passenger room at knee height. The seats weigh up to 30 per
cent less than conventional ones, contributing to overall
fuel efficiency and low emissions. Using extruded pipe
materials rather than high tensile sheet steel ensures the
structure is rigid. The slimmer designs, with integrated
headrests, save space without sacrificing comfort or safety.
the size of the heater and air conditioning unit by 20 per
cent compared to the Toyota Yaris allowed the engineers to
make significant space savings without compromising
performance. This means the blower unit, usually found in
front of the front passenger, could be integrated with the
main ventilation unit in a central position. This innovation
allowed the front passenger area to be moved forward,
freeing up cabin space and increasing leg room.
innovative asymmetric dashboard was designed to open up the
whole cabin area. It ensures ample leg room for the front
passenger, even when the seat is in its furthest forward
position. The sliding seat configuration allows an adult
190cm tall to sit comfortably in the rear seat behind a
front passenger of the same height. Shoulder-to-shoulder
distance between driver and front passenger is 50mm wider
than in Yaris and bears comparison with a C-segment vehicle.
The all-round space and seating layout means there is ample
room for three adults plus either a child passenger or
luggage behind the driver.
ENGINEERED FOR ENVIRONMENTAL EXCELLENCE
VVT-i petrol engine offered at launch
emissions from 99g/km
the successful outcome of Toyota’s well-established drive to
reduce the environmental impact of its vehicles without
compromising performance and driving dynamics. With CO2
emissions as low as 99g/km (with manual transmission), it is
clearly a city car that’s in the right place at the right time.
innovative, aerodynamic packaging has been achieved through a
low overall height, low centre of gravity and wheels pushed out
to the four corners of the car. This gives agility at low speed
and unprecedented stability for a small car on motorways and
winding roads. A minimum turning radius of 3.9 metres further
enhances its nimble handling, even in tight city streets.
iQ is built
on a new platform with MacPherson strut front suspension and a
newly developed compact rear torsion beam. Together these
provide dynamic handling with high degree of ride comfort. The
suspension is fine tuned to let the car hug corners at speed,
without losing stability.
and transmissions have been developed under the Toyota Optimal
Drive philosophy of delivering extremely low fuel consumption
and emissions without compromising on power or driving pleasure.
At launch one
engine will be available: a 1.0-litre VVT-i petrol unit with a
choice of five-speed manual or a new Multidrive CVT system.
1.0-litre VVT-i engine
The 1.0-litre VVT-i petrol engine, winner of the 2008 Engine of
the Year award in the sub-1.0-litre class, is a lightweight,
three-cylinder unit, producing 67bhp (68 Din hp) at 6,000rpm and
91Nm of torque at 4,800rpm. Combined with a high-ratio
five-speed manual transmission, it returns 65.7mpg in combined
cycle driving and 99g/km of carbon dioxide (figures provisional
prior to final homologation). This keeps iQ under the UK’s
100g/km threshold for Vehicle Excise Duty, a benchmark that is
also used for tax purposes in other major European markets, too.
Specified with Multidrive transmission, the engine emits 110g/km
of CO2 (provisional figure).
Multidrive uses Toyota’s latest continuously variable
transmission (CVT) technology to give a very smooth shift feel
while optimising the balance between performance and fuel
economy. It continuously monitors and selects the most
appropriate gear ratio and shifting speed, automatically
eliminating “shift shock” or jumps while changing gear. It
maximises engine torque without unnecessary acceleration and
smoothes gear ratio changes, for example limiting uphill shifts
and making downhill shifts to achieve optimum engine brake
force. The system provides all the city-friendly characteristics
of a conventional automatic gearbox.
equipped with Multidrive feature an ECO driving indicator lamp
on the multi-information display. This encourages more
economical driving by signalling when fuel is being saved and,
consequently, emissions are reduced. Current and average fuel
consumption are also permanently on display.
Models with manual transmission are equipped with a gear shift
indicator which shows the driver when to change up or down a
gear to achieve the best environmental performance. The system
takes driving conditions, accelerator pedal pressure and vehicle
speed into account and can return fuel consumption savings of
between 0.5 and three per cent compared to normal gear shifting,
depending on individual driver habits.
A new 1.33-litre Dual VVT-i petrol engine with Stop & Start
technology will be available in iQ later in 2009. A 1.4 D-4D
diesel will be offered from launch in some European markets, but
is not scheduled for introduction in the UK.
Many of iQ’s
innovations will be adapted and evolved for future Toyota
models. The car is a major milestone in Toyota’s environmental
commitment and efforts to develop technologies for much lower
emissions. It is an essential part of Toyota’s challenge to
achieve the Japanese Automobile Manufacturers Association’s
(JAMA) voluntary commitment of 140g/km average fleet emissions
OUTSTANDING ACTIVE AND PASSIVE SAFETY
from sophisticated active and passive safety technology to
protect driver, passengers and pedestrians, with a range of
breakthrough features rarely seen in small vehicles.
integrated with Brake Assist (BA) and Electronic Brakeforce
Distribution (EBD) is standard on all models. Steering assist
Vehicle Stability Control (VSC+) combined with Traction Control
(TRC) is also provided across the range and incorporates
Electric Power Steering Control to minimise the risk of under-
braking system has 255mm front discs and 180mm drums. For
collision safety and “braking feel”, a link-type brake pedal is
strength body has a multi-load path structure to efficiently
absorb and disperse impact forces. Designed by Toyota, it
increases occupant protection in a frontal collision through six
strategic elements to absorb and redistribute impact energy,
including the suspension side rail and cross members, dashboard
cross member, and front tyres located as far forward as
The shape and
height of the bonnet and a collapsible cowl construction are
designed to deform in an impact to mitigate potential pedestrian
are fitted with nine airbags. The passenger front airbag has a
twin-chamber design with a lower pressure inflator to bridge the
space between the passenger and the dashboard.
has a knee airbag, which, because of the short steering column,
can be positioned closer to the driver’s knees, reducing
deployment time and the amount of inflation required. On the
front passenger side there is an innovative seat cushion airbag
that works with the seatbelts to reduce and disperse force to
the head, chest and upper body. This airbag is more effective in
restraining hip movement than conventional knee airbags, given
iQ’s asymmetrical dashboard design.
from side impacts is provided by two front side airbags,
designed to restrain the chest and pelvis at the same time. Two
side curtain shield airbags protect all four occupants from side
impact to the head and neck.
Locking Retractor (ELR) seatbelts are fitted to all seats, with
additional pretensioners and force-limiters for the driver and
World-first rear window airbag
iQ marks a world-first breakthrough with a rear window curtain
shield airbag. This deploys from the roof lining behind the rear
headrests to protect occupants in a rear-end collision.
seat anchors are fitted to the rear seats. A high tensile
strength steel seat frame construction with integrated headrests
provide driver and front passenger with collision safety and
whiplash protection performance equal to Toyota’s latest active
360-degree safety approach, Toyota aims to fulfil Euro NCAP’s
five-star rating for occupant protection.
ASPIRATIONAL EQUIPMENT SPECIFICATION
Details of iQ specification for the UK market will be announced
In line with
its innovative design and high quality finish, it will offer as
standard a number of premium features for added style, comfort
and convenience, setting it apart from more conventional and
modestly specified models in the city car segment.
will be available – a standard trim and a premium upgrade
version. Key features will include (according to grade) alloy
wheels, electrically adjustable heated door mirrors with
integrated turn indicators, automatic air conditioning, privacy
glass, Smart Entry and Start system, dusk-sensing headlights,
rain-sensing wipers and an auto-dimming rear view mirror.
To add even
more lustre to their iQ, owners will be offered a full range of