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Toyota to Launch Ultra-compact ‘iQ’ in Japan

Tokyo — TOYOTA MOTOR CORPORATION (TMC) announced today it will begin sales of its new “micro-premium” car, the “iQ*1”, in Japan starting on November 20.

The iQ combines outstanding performance and superior quality in an ultra-compact form that dispels conventional notions about small cars.
A newly designed platform enables an ultra-efficient package that seats four in a vehicle 2,985mm long by 1,680mm wide by 1,500mm high. The iQ’s unique styling creates a sense of sophistication and presence that belies the car’s size.

A 1.0-liter engine delivers outstanding cruising and environmental performance, offers fuel efficiency at the highest levels for its displacement, and also meets the new 2015 Japanese fuel efficiency standards under the recently introduced JC08 test cycle. The iQ is highly responsive at low and medium speeds, provides stable cruising performance at high speeds, and has a minimum turning radius of 3.9 meters—one of the shortest in the industry. In addition, a S-VSC (Steering-assisted Vehicle Stability Control) system and a total of nine airbags, including the world’s first*2 SRS (Supplemental Restraint System) rear window curtain shield airbag, are standard on all models to provide outstanding safety performance.

The iQ is also planned to go on sale in Europe in early 2009.

*1 “i” stands for “individuality”, and expresses “innovation” and “intelligence”. “Q” stands for “quality”, hints at the vehicle’s “cubic” form and is a “cue” to move toward new values and lifestyles.
*2 As of September 2008, according to research by TMC

Vehicle Outline

Cutting-edge design

  • The iQ embodies the Toyota vehicle design philosophy of “Vibrant Clarity” by fusing conflicting elements to create something that is “small yet spacious”.
  • Mathematical models based on conch shells and water ripples were used to create interior and exterior lines, surfaces and designs reflecting the beauty of nature.
  • The wheel arches, emphasized by the placement of the 15-inch wheels as close to the four corners of the vehicle as possible, and the robust front view all integrate with the flowing body lines to convey stability and dynamism.
  • “Aero-corners” designed into the front and rear bumpers emphasize the strength of the wheel arches and provide outstanding aerodynamic performance.
  • The world’s first* high and low beam integrated projector headlights and LED rear combination taillights are testament to the iQ’s cutting-edge status.
  • Door mirrors with highly visible built-in turning signals come standard.
  • Nine body colors, including the new Jade Green Metallic, are available.
  • The center cluster and door trim, the design of which was influenced by the motion of a manta ray, help create a refined interior space.
  • The angular instrument panel combines with the flowing curves of the center cluster to create a space that feels both technologically advanced and natural.
  • The seats, steering wheel, and gear shift knob feature real leather for a high-quality feel (in the 100G “Leather Package”).
  • The steering wheel, instead of being fully circular, has a flat bottom section to facilitate comfortable operation and ease of ingress and egress.
  • Available steering-wheel-mounted audio system controls enhance operability.
  • The angle-adjustable white, round LED map light provides broad light.
  • The temperature, mode, and airflow of the automatic air conditioning are adjustable through a single dial.

* As of September 2008, according to research by TMC

Six methods used to achieve ultra-efficient package

  • Inverting the differential gear and putting its output axle in front made it possible to position the wheels forward of the engine, resulting in a reduced front overhang.
  • Optimal component placement—moving the differential gear forward (see above) and positioning the steering gearbox higher—allowed for a compact engine compartment.
  • A flat fuel tank located below the floor reduced rear overhang.
  • The driver and front passenger seatbacks were made thinner, while still providing seat grip and comfort, to create greater legroom in the back.
  • A much smaller air conditioning module is housed in the center of the instrument panel thereby increasing passenger legroom.
  • Repositioning the air conditioner allowed for an asymmetrical dashboard that gives the front passenger seat a greater sliding range, allowing for comfortable use of the rear.

By use of the above, an ultra-efficient package has been created that seats four—three adults and one child.  Further, ample space for a large suitcase can be created by use of the 50/50-split rear seats.  Also, storage space created under the rear seats further enhances convenience.

Outstanding environmental performance

  • The 1.0-liter engine boasts fuel efficiency of 23.0km/l in the 10-15 Japanese test cycle of the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT), and 21.0km/l in the JC08 test cycle.  The iQ meets the new 2015 Japanese fuel efficiency standards*.  (CO2 emissions are 101g/km in the older 10-15 cycle and 111g/km in the JC08 test cycle.)
  • The vehicle also achieves 75% lower emissions than the 2005 standards under the MLIT’s Approval System for Low-emission Vehicles.
  • An Eco Driving Indicator that lights up to signify fuel-efficient vehicle operation and a new “eco-drive zone” display showing throttle use aim to raise driver awareness toward environmentally friendly driving.
  • A switch-engaged Eco Mode improves fuel efficiency by more optimally aligning driving force with accelerator operation and by putting the air conditioner into a low energy consumption mode.
  • TMC employed the Eco-Vehicle Assessment System (Eco-VAS)—its original comprehensive environmental impact assessment system.  Efforts included setting environmental targets at the start of vehicle development to achieve balanced reduction in areas of environmental impact and carrying out a life cycle assessment for reducing overall CO2 and atmospheric contaminants throughout the vehicle’s lifecycle, from production and use to disposal.
  • A review of the materials, processing methods and adhesives usually used for interior parts resulted in a reduction in the amount of volatile organic compounds used, thereby also reducing the unpleasant odors normally emitted from such compounds, thus achieving the Japanese automobile industry’s voluntary goals.

* Specified by the Japanese Law Concerning the Rational Use of Energy

Driving performance characterizes both agility and stability

  • A newly developed electric-power steering system and suspension provide crisp response at low and medium speeds and stable driving performance at high speeds.
  • Power steering delivers both responsiveness and smoothness of operation for outstanding handling and driving pleasure.
  • The suspension system features MacPherson struts up front and a torsion beam system in the rear for a level of cruising stability and comfort uncommon with such a short wheelbase.
  • The combination of a 1.0-liter 1KR-FE engine with Super CVT-i delivers superior cruising and environmental performance.
  • A new intake system layout created to fit the compact engine compartment provides ample torque at low and medium speeds as well as outstanding acceleration performance during stop-and-go city driving.
  • Super CVT-i uses a wide gear-ratio range and a lock-up torque converter that works even at low speeds, and achieves both excellent driving performance and fuel efficiency by working effectively with the engine.
  • Electronically controlled, liquid-filled engine mounts that delicately reduce engine vibration and a windshield featuring sound-absorbing glass contribute to a highly tranquil cabin.

High safety performance

  • A total of nine airbags come standard, including the world’s first SRS rear window curtain shield airbag, which deploys from the roof lining above the rear window to protect rear passengers’ heads in the event of a rear-end collision.
  • The S-VSC system, which also comes standard, optimally balances driving power, steering and braking, aiming to maintain driving stability regardless of road conditions.
  • Global Outstanding Assessment (GOA) construction has been further developed to create an advanced collision-safety body structure.  The iQ was subjected to omni-directional, vehicle-to-vehicle collision tests with a heavier vehicle and the results met the stringent GOA standards for superior collision safety performance.
  • The structure of the body reduces the likelihood of pedestrian head injuries.
  • Newly developed seats with integrated headrests—designed in line with the Whiplash Injury Lessening (WIL) concept—are standard for the front seats.  In a rear-end collision, the entire seatback, including the headrest, absorbs the force to alleviate impact on the neck and reduce whiplash injuries.

2009 Toyota iQ – Hi-res. Images

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