Have you ever wondered what amazing new technology would beat hybrids in the “green” category? Plug-ins, electric cars, fuel cells, carbon-capture cars? Turns out the next step forward could be a step backward.
Enter the Toyota iQ: small, sleek, roomy, and possibly with lower CO2 emissions than Toyota’s ubiquitous Prius. Why do I call the iQ both a step forward and a step backward? It’s because the iQ isn’t a hybrid, plug-in hybrid, or anything else that’s been hyped up in the news recently. The iQ represents simplicity and good design — showing that a small car with some innovation can still go pretty far.
GCC posted on the iQ recently identifying a few things that make this “city car” special:
- New differential: With a new differential Toyota was able to alter engine configuration and shrink the size of the engine bay big time. This allowed designers to move the front wheels almost to the front of the car, giving the car a surprisingly long wheelbase compared to its overall length.
- Underfloor fuel tank: Having fuel stored under the floor instead of under the trunk means that the rear overhang can be lessened and the wheels moved closer to the rear of the car.
- Heater/A/C shrinkage: Toyota managed to compress the size of the heating and cooling system without compromising performance. This is behind the iQ’s asymmetrical dashboard and gives provides a bit more cabin room on the passenger side.
- Dash and seating: As I just mentioned, the iQ’s asymmetrical dashboard frees up room for the passenger. The passenger also has the ability to move their seat up rather far, giving the back seat passengers a bit more room to breathe. In a car this small, the rear seats will definitely only be suitable for smaller people, so this feature is a great bonus in terms of usability.
- Ultra-slim seats: It may seem slight, but the iQ’s seats free up another 40 mm for rear passengers.
It’s great to see a release like this from a major manufacturer instead of endless speculation and posturing that you sometimes get with (especially American) car-makers. Look forward to another post with more details and information from possible test drives!
Would you buy it?
Source: Green Car Congress