According to Motor Trend, the Scion iQ will arrive in late 2010 as a 2011 model or early 2011 as a 2012 model. The U.S.-spec model will retain its funky 3+1 seating arrangement, although the vehicle will grow by 1.5 inches overall. At 118 inches, the iQ will be about a foot longer than the Smart ForTwo.
The iQ has already received a five-star crash rating in the European NCAP rating system and will need little in the way of modifications to be road legal in the U.S. - mostly alterations to its bumpers. The iQ comes packed with nine air bags.
It remains unclear what engine will power the U.S. iQ, but the car's 1.3L 99 horsepower four-cylinder seems like a distinct possibility. However, Toyota says up to a 1.6L mill will fit in the iQ's engine bay, so a more powerful engine for the U.S. market hasn't been completely ruled out.
Common sense would suggest the iQ would be the most moderately priced vehicle in Toyot's U.S. lineup but that may not be the case. Toyota markets the iQ as a premium small car in Europe with prices similar to that of the larger Yaris. It remains to be seen if Toyota could get away with such a strategy in the U.S.
An electric version of the iQ is also likely for 2012 - the same year Californi's zero-emission law comes into effect. The iQ EV is expected to have a range of 50 miles and a charge time of eight hours.