When the Smart-like 2011 Scion iQ shows up in dealers next year, it's likely to give the Daimler-built two-seat city car some heartburn.
The vice president of Scion, Toyota's brand-within-a-brand, confirmed this week at the press launch of the 2011 Scion tC that the new iQ will arrive in the U.S. early next year with a Smart ForTwo-like package and much more functionality, like its unique "three-plus-one" seating and a more conventional CVT, as opposed to the Smart's automatic clutch.
Power will come from a 1.3-liter engine with more than 90 horsepower, and fuel economy will be like that of the Smart, which earns an EPA rating of 33 mpg city, 41 mpg highway.
Separately, we've has learned from other sources that the iQ will be in showrooms in March, and will be priced competitively with the Smart ForTwo. It will also allow owners to fit a car seat inside, a big leap of functionality over the ForTwo.
Hollis also told High Gear Media that the Scion iQ is set to run for four model years in the U.S. Americans will be getting the iQ more than two years into its life cycle, and in Asia and Europe, the iQ will be replaced in the 2013-2014 time frame. To give the U.S. market an additional model year, Toyota will produce enough 2014 iQ hatchbacks to be sold in America while it retools factories elsewhere to begin building a new version.
We'll be driving the Scion iQ late this year, so stay tuned for more.