The wraps are off the new Toyota iQ – and it’s not only the name of this show-stopping city car which is clever. Smart design features mean there’s a surprisingly roomy cabin lurking within its deceptively small frame.
Space-saving innovations unveiled at the recent Geneva Motor Show include a flat underfloor fuel tank, as well as a more compact engine bay. So although it’s less than three metres long, the new model still has enough space inside to carry three adults and a child.
And that’s not the only trick up the iQ’s sleeve. To give the driver more legroom, there’s a flat-bottomed steering wheel, which also houses all the audio controls, to save space on the centre console. Ultra-slim seatbacks are made from a one-piece moulding to create more room in the back. And a storage tray is concealed below the rear seat to keep the cabin clear. This 50:50-split bench can be folded flat to increase luggage capacity. Engineers have also reduced the size of the heater and air-con unit to free space and let the front passenger sit closer to the windscreen. This is aided by an asymmetric dash, which intrudes further into the cabin on the driver’s side.
Under the bonnet, a new differential allows the Toyota to have a more compact engine compartment, while the wheels are pos-itioned in each corner, and there’s a short front overhang.
When the iQ hits showrooms in spring 2009, there will be a choice of two petrol units and one diesel. CO2 emissions from as low as 100g/km are likely, but prices aren’t yet available.