One of the concepts that drew the most attention at the recent Frankfurt Motor Show was the Toyota iQ. The car was presented again at the Tokyo Motor Show in October, where it elicited just as much interest and admiration.
The concept’s take on the compact city car genre, designed to offer a small footprint and to consume and, as a result, pollute as little as possible, is decidedly different from that of the Volkswagen Up.
The iQ is a front wheel drive car with a much more designed style than the minimalist look of its German counterpart. The 3+1 interior layout is also original, and would make it the only four-seater on the market measuring under three metres in length. At 298 cm, it is just 20 cm longer than the two-seater Smart ForTwo, but an incredible 42.5 cm shorter than Toyota’s current smallest model, the Aygo. The iQ project was conducted by ED2, Toyota’s French design centre based near Nice.
“This car has not been conceived with just style in mind, today, we must always be very much aware of the needs of the environment and strive to save energy and limit CO2 emissions”, explains ED2 president Tokuo Fukuichi, whom we met together with the director of the studio Hiroshi Kawahara to talk about the project. “We already have a hybrid with these goals in mind, but we also wanted an ultra-compact car”, continues Fukuichi. “The spirit of Toyota is to keep exploring possible new directions, and this is how the iQ came to be.”
The article continues in Auto & Design no. 168