2009 Scion iQ ConceptEnlarge Photo
Toyota's sharp-looking and innovative iQ is already snatching up sales in the UK and Japan, offering an alternative to the somewhat pricier Smart ForTwo in the nascent urban mini-car segment. The Scion-branded version of the car has already been tipped for possible U.S. sale, but today reports are emerging that the decision may already be made - and that it could be here sooner than expected.
The latest development, credited to Scion division vice president Jack Hollis, has the car arriving for U.S. sale by September or October of 2010. That's at least a few months earlier than the previously-expected early 2011 date for the Scion iQ, and the confirmation that it's coming at all is also new.
Despite a successful showing at the New York Auto Show this year, the decision-makers at Scion hadn't yet announced the car's definite sale in the U.S. The news of Hollis' statement comes from an Auto Week report quoting an anonymous Toyota dealer, however, so there's still room for Toyota and Scion to change their corporate plans.
On the other hand, with new fuel regulations approaching, Toyota may want all the non-hybrid help it can get for its fleet figures, in addition to the sales boost the low-cost, trendy car might bring. As the current cash for clunkers sales are showing, American's aren't completely averse to smaller, more fuel-efficient cars - provided the price is right.
The 2011 Scion iQ is expected to arrive in the U.S. with a price tag around $15,000. It will likely be sporting the same 1.3-liter, 66 mpg four-cylinder engine the concept Scion iQ showed off in April, making a powerful argument for its economy of ownership both in the short term and the longer term.