What’s your iQ?

Today I felt like writing a good length post for you guys.  I was wracking my brain last week trying to see what I should write about and I thought of it, the new iQ.  There have been a few reviews on this little pocket rocket, but none that covered tuning as well as vehicle specs.  Well that’s where I come in, doing what others didn’t.  


When I first saw the iQ, I will admit, I was not a fan.  But the more I saw pictures and videos of these things, the more I liked them.  They are tiny and functional, which is something I like.  The iQ may not be a fashion statement, but it does what you need it to do, get you places.  


For right now the iQ is only being offered in Japan and Europe.  These are meant to be little city runners that directly compete with the Smart ForTwo and the Fiat 500.  But, rumor has it that Toyota will be bringing the iQ to the states, but with a Scion badge on it.  That would be very interesting to see on American highways.

Pricing for the iQ has not been released, but it is expected to be come in under the price for a base Yaris (around $12,500).


To power this mini beast there are two power plants you can currently choose from.  A 67-horse, 1.0-liter three-cylinder with a  five-speed manual transmission and an 89-horse 1.4-liter four-cylinder turbo diesel with a six-speed manual transmission.  These engines are also shared with the Vitz.  Around the middle of 2009 a new power plant should become available; a 1.3-liter four-cylinder with vvt-i.  The new power plant will bump up the ponies to 100-hp.  This is also rumored to be the engine that will be coming in the US bound iQ.  The new motor package will have an option of a six-speed manual or a continuously variable transmission (CVT).  The small power is fine because the iQ only weighs 1962 pounds, so the engine doesn’t have too move much.

The standard equipment on the iQ is what you have come to expect from Toyota.  ABS, Electronic Brake Distribution (EDB), Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), and Traction Control (TRC) are all standard.


The iQ is 9.8 ft long and 5.5 ft wide, but don’t let that throw you off.  From reports I have been reading the interior cabin is remarkably spacious.  The iQ is designed and marketed as a four passenger vehicle, but can really only fit three adults and a small stuffed animal, comfortably.  But the iQ’s interior is ergonomically comfortable and works well with the driver.  


Now onto what I like the most, tuning.  The iQ is just barely in showrooms in Japan and Europe, but companies are already getting their hands on these things.  There is not a huge following for them yet, but I feel like there will be a strong group of followers in the coming months.  


Here we have a Blitz tuned iQ.  I don’t know much about it, but if I know Blitz, they probably have some form of f/i on there.  


Gazoo Racing’s iQ is a mini track bruiser.  You would not think so, but because of the R&D the Toyota Engineers had to do to make the small package of the iQ work, it has very good balance and is set up very well from the factory.  The Aero package on this iQ is a design by Gazoo, but those sexy wheels are a set of OZ Racing wheels.


Endless Racing iQ on a set of Enkeis, can’t go wrong with that!


Tein iQ I blogged about earlier.

I am excited to see what the future has instore for the iQ and how the masses will react to it.  If it is anything like how the Smart ForTwo was accepted, the iQ will do very well.  Only time will tell, and with this economy, all we can really do is wait and see.

Photos courtesy of: SpeedHunters, UrbanRacer, Wired.

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March 2009

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