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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I'm trying a new marketing "reverse psychology" angle for my "Isn't Toyota wonderful" threads, even though I don't think this article says one way or the other whether the USA gets a chance to buy the IQ:

http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/d...Id=131327?tid=edmunds.il.home.photopanel..1.*

"...Due to be unveiled at the 2008 Paris Auto Show on October 2, the 2009 Toyota iQ is a kind of four-passenger Smart car. It's so innovative in its concept, packaging and design that it might just become the new yardstick for small cars..."


"...But it was here where Toyota's engineers really shone. The men in white coats came up with six packaging tricks.

The first is a newly developed compact differential for this front-wheel-drive car, which by itself adds more than 4 inches to the length of the interior cabin in comparison to the Toyota Yaris. In addition, radically angled rear suspension dampers and a flat fuel tank fit under the rear seats to further improve interior space. The steering column comes out of the center of the car and the dash is asymmetrical, while the seatbacks are especially slim. Even the air-conditioning unit packaged within the dash is 20 percent smaller..."



"...Though the iQ is just 9.8 feet long and 5.5 feet wide, the cabin of this preproduction car feels remarkably spacious, even for our Australian-size frame. The generous distance from your eye across the top of the dash to the steeply angled windshield adds to the feeling of interior spaciousness, so the iQ feels at least one class bigger and one class more luxurious than it actually is. Interior quality and trim level are high, especially the center console, which has been artfully modeled in the shape of a manta ray.

The seats are comfortable and available with either cloth upholstery or partial leather. The asymmetrical dashboard helps move the front passenger forward enough to accommodate an adult in the rear seat. Of course, the space behind the driver is so small that it is relegated to shopping bags or a small child..."



"...Let's Motor, Japanese-Style
The 2009 Toyota iQ is really meant to enhance Toyota's presence in Europe, and this market will get the choice of an iQ with either a 1.0-liter inline-3 with a five-speed manual transmission or a turbocharged 1.4-liter inline-4 diesel with a six-speed manual. In mid-2009, a 1.3-liter inline-4 with variable valve timing will become available, and it'll feature either the six-speed manual or a continuously variable transmission (CVT). Meanwhile, Japan will get the 1.0-liter inline-3 matched with a CVT.

Details about these drivetrains are still being held back by the Toyota engineers, but we're told to expect "pretty much the same power and torque as now, while achieving better mileage and cleaner emissions." This means we can expect the 1.0-liter to produce around 70 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 69 pound-feet of torque at 3,600 rpm. The 1.4-liter turbodiesel will generate approximately 89 hp..."
 

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Holy crap. Toyota stole the ass from a Megane. Sooooo innovative.
 

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I wish they had kept the tail lights from the concept, looked way better. It's an interesting car, especially packaging-wise, but probably not that interesting for the US market.

Gas in the US is still cheap compared to the rest of the world, and the current fuel economy frenzy is an overreaction that won't last.
 

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Smart sales in the US are nowhere near the sales for Europe and Toyota knows this. However unlike GM with their Euro models, I'd doubt that Toyota will have a hard time getting this car certified for the US, if they have second thoughts.
 

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Smart sales in the US are nowhere near the sales for Europe and Toyota knows this. However unlike GM with their Euro models, I'd doubt that Toyota will have a hard time getting this car certified for the US, if they have second thoughts.
If Toyota were to bring a smaller car than the Yaris, it would probably be the Aygo, which sits between the IQ and the Yaris. If you're not sure whether there's is a market for cars smaller than the Yaris, it would only be logical to try with the next smaller one and not skip models and bring the smallest thing you have.

As I said, the current hype surrounding small cars will prove to be a fad. Of course the market won't be the same and you won't see nearly as many moms in 6k lb V8 SUV's in the future, but they will not be driving 3-cyl microcars either.
 

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Hmmm... they say the price will be around $13,000... it's on Edmunds.com, but the writer mentios that he's Australian... so that's either 7600 euros (if we're talking AUD) or 8800 euros (if we're talking USD). I'd be tempted at 7600, perhaps, but 8800 is that magic spot where the Citoren C1 sits, which is my favourite minature car. The C1 has super packaging and excellent seating for 4 people... for the same price I don't know if I would want to put up with the pinched iQ seating and basically no trunk with the back seats in position.

I still think that it's a smart design... much cheaper than the Smart and the option of carrying four people (albeit for short distances) or suprisingly large cargo room when there are only two people. There are some very cheap touches though... no question they stretched every dollar as far as possible on that thing...

One very cool feature is the rear airbag! That's a good idea on a car with basically no space between the rear gate and the back seat.

The article mentions the high quality of the interior... if that's the case they need to fire the photographer, because the interior looks very cheap to me. As for comparing it to the Polo... I'd be curious to see the price of the Polo Bluetech (the French site isn't working right now). It's a significantly better car... but it's supposed to be if it's significantly more expensive.

EDIT: Just checked the German and Belgian sites... not sure if the 1.4L TDi is available in a more basic model, but the BlueMotion version starts at over 16,000 euro. Twice the price of the iQ... all of a sudden it's better fuel economy doesn't impress me nearly as much.
 

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I'd be tempted at 7600, perhaps, but 8800 is that magic spot where the Citoren C1 sits, which is my favourite minature car. The C1 has super packaging and excellent seating for 4 people... for the same price I don't know if I would want to put up with the pinched iQ seating and basically no trunk with the back seats in position.
Definitely have to agree there. The back seat of that car is _surprisingly_ comfy. Not quite sure where they found all this space, but I don't think a 5-series back seat is much roomier.
 

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Definitely have to agree there. The back seat of that car is _surprisingly_ comfy. Not quite sure where they found all this space, but I don't think a 5-series back seat is much roomier.
What's even more suprising is that, while of course the trunk is by no means big, there is enough space for two duffel bags or small suitcases. I've taken several different trips in C1s and 107s, and was always impressed at how useful the trunk is.
 

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Maybe Toyota will bring the IQ to Canada. The market in Canada is much stronger for small cars such as the Yaris and Smart 4two. These types of cars are great as city commuters and have a pretty large presence where I live. Cheap, affordable transportation for everyday commuting is pretty important for many of us practical Canadians.
 

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Shortsighted is right.

Same thing with Chevy and the Triplets.
Focus the marketing on America's major metropolitan areas, where there is limited parking, and a high number of cars, and people will buy these cars.
Also focus on new car rental places like ZipCar or CityCarShare, where there is an immediate impact in visibility, and people will notice these cars.

Even if Toyota is that shortsighted, I wonder how fast they could get these cars to market in the US?
 
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