It’s been a "will they, won’t they" debate in the motoring media for weeks, but Toyota has finally come clean. Next month’s Geneva Motor Show will see the world debut of the production version of the innovative iQ concept.
There will be very little detail until the Swiss expo, but it seems the white two-door vehicle seen here will be the first of a family. The company statement that accompanies the image states: “Toyota is thinking big by creating a new generation of small cars designed to address the demands of modern motoring and the preferences of today’s drivers.”
First shown as a concept at last September’s Frankfurt Motor Show, production of the iQ will start towards the end of this year in Japan. Although measuring less than three meters in length, it can carry three people in comfort, with room to spare for a child or luggage. There’s no official word on powertrain but it’s likely to be a 1.0-liter three-cylinder gas engine. Fuel economy will be in the region of 60-70mpg.
“iQ is rich in Japanese design elements and signals a radical shift away from the belief that small cars, although kinder to the environment, are inherently basic and less safe,” added the statement.
The iQ concept was created at ED2, Toyota's advanced European design studio in the south of France, working under the Toyota design philosophy of Vibrant Clarity. It means a design that is forward-looking, intelligent and energetic while retaining clarity of purpose and function.--Richard Yarrow