Toyota will bring out iQ Car Early
By Brendan Moore
Toyota has announced at the Tokyo Auto Show that the iQ, a projected Mini competitor, has been pushed up in the production queue and will be in showrooms as early as Fall 2008. The diminutive car will be the smallest 4-seat car sold in the world when it goes on sale, at approximately 10 feet long and 5.5 feet across. For comparison, that is 25.6 inches shorter than a Mini, 22 inches shorter than the new Fiat 500, but 11 inches longer than the Smart car which goes on sale here in the United States in the first quarter of 2008.
Toyota stated that the car will be shown at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2008 and go on sale by the end of the year. Toyota expects to sell around 80,000 units in Europe in 2009. The car is not slated for sale in North America.
Rumors are rampant at the Tokyo Show that the iQ will be powered by a Yamaha motorbike engine, but senior Toyota sources brush those rumors off as not credible. One Toyota executive did point out, however, that Toyota does own part of Yamaha, and that the bike engine specialists often get involved with Toyota’s engine development.
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