By Nick Aziz
Tuesday, Mar 4th, 2008 @ 11:15 am
 
Toyota showed off its super compact, C-segment iQ to the world in Geneva today. The car was first shown in concept form at Frankfurt last year, and will be produced in late 2008.



Toyota is touting the iQ as the ultimate refined mode of transportation and at less than 118 inches in length, it's certainly small enough to be a devoted city runabout.

The iQ is called a 3+1, meaning it is capable of carrying up to three adults along with a child or luggage in comfort.

Toyota is especially proud of the six engineering innovations it utilized to maximized interior space in the iQ in addition to the long wheelbase of nearly 79 inches, which minimizes overhangs but maximizes the space between the wheels. The first includes a newly developed compact differential, alone said to be responsible for over 100mm of added length in the cabin in comparison to the B-segment Toyota Yaris. The rest includes rear-angled shocks and a flat fuel tank under the seats, a smaller heater / air conditioner unit that's just as efficient, a center take-off steering column, an asymmetrical dashboard as well as slimmer seats claimed to contribute about 1.5 inches in length to the interior. Despite its small size, the iQ received a 5-star safety rating in Euro NCAP testing.

"We came to the conclusion that, in order to ensure a sustainable future, there was a need for a radical change in vehicle packaging. We needed to create a break-through, away

from the traditional belief that small is basic," said Kazuo Okamoto, Executive Vice President in charge of Research and Development at Toyota.

The pushed-forward dashboard features temperature controls with an LCD display, as well as a 5.8-inch screen for satellite navigation system.

The iQ showed at Geneva sat on 16-inch wheels and powerplant choices will include two gasoline and one diesel engine. Toyota expects to sell 100,000 units of the iQ in its first year of production globally.