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Brain, it's What's for Dinner
Ok, so the worst just happened, like something totally NOT GOOD. Perhaps a natural disaster has devastated your country; maybe a virulent disease or food-borne illness is spreading throughout the population; conceivably even the hand of God has reached down from on high and caused an outright nuclear meltdown. Whatever the reason, things are seriously jacked.
It might sound like an oxymoron to hear Toyota iQ City Racer, with its 1.3L VVT-i engine pumping out the ever-so massive 98-hp. But that’s not going to stop Toyota from releasing a limited edition iQ aimed at the French market with some sporty aesthetic modifications.
Only 300 units of the iQ City Racer will be produced with several color choices to choose from: Orange Tabasco, Red, Pearl White or Gray Aluminum. To give it the good ‘ol race-inspired look, contrasting racing stripes are added on the vehicle along with new mirror covers, a rear skirt with a black chrome exhaust tip, tinted windows, some imitation carbon fiber elements, City Racer graphics and 16-inch black wheels.
The limited edition City Racer will be available at €19,950 – about $26,000 based on today’s conversion rates – which might sound steep, but considering a Subway footlong is €5 in France rather than $5, we’re assuming it’s a fair price to ask out there in Europe.
GALLERY: Toyota iQ Racer
Some say that imitation is the best form of flattery, but this time around we don’t think the guys at Five Axis are flattered. Back in 2009, the creative team of designers at Five Axis produced one of the coolest concept cars yet, the widebody Scion iQ.
Obviously the final production model wasn’t quite as sporty or aggressive, but Five Axis’ concept showed just how cool the micro-subcompact car can be. What’s not so cool however is the imitation iQ that was done by a company in China called Weifang Guangsheng New Energy Co.
It seems that this company was creative enough to not copy any actual production model of a vehicle, but rather what Five Axis creatively designed for Scion to show off to the rest of the world. One quick glance at the photos though shows that none of the precision that Five Axis is known for can be seen in the Chinese knock-off. And even sillier is that this imitation iQ Concept is being billed as a solar-powered car (as the company specializes in solar systems) with a 5.4-hp electric motor. Weifang Guangsheng New Energy Co., states that the car weighs in at around 771-lbs and through the solar panels on the roof it’ll be able to travel 74-93 miles. We have our doubts.
GALLERY: Fake Chinese Five Axis Scion iQ Concept
[Source: Car Scoop]
Toyota‘s miniature city car, known to us as the Scion iQ, is clearly a budget-friendly subcompact but who is to say that you can’t have a little fun and comfort while driving it? After Vilner transformed the Smart ForTwo they set their eyes on the next city car project this time keeping the modifications strictly in the interior. Looking to add luxury with the iQ’s eco-friendliness, Vilner fills the interior with brown Napa leather and Alcantara throughout.
Vilner claims their iQ’s interior brings it “close to the interiors of highest class luxurious cars,” but we’ll leave that up to your judgment. The seats are completely reupholstered in brown Nappa leather, including the letters “iQ” on the headrests and an interesting rectangular-pattern throughout the rest of the seat. The entire ceiling and pillars get redone with brown Alcantara while designer and laser-engraved elements are placed on some elements throughout the interior.
GALLERY: Vilner Scion iQ
It has been a hit in Asia and Europe, but North Americans will have to wait a bit longer to get their hands on the Scion iQ.
Originally the plan was to start selling the cutesy iQ minicar by March, but Scion’s parent company Toyota has now pushed this launch a few months back, so don’t expect to see any at your local dealer until the summer.
The reason for the delay is not a production overload or glitch. No, the delay has been placed because they want to sell more of their tC coupes (they claim), which is also new for 2011. Obviously Toyota/Scion top brass think the iQ will steal sales from its sportier sibling. So to give the tC a fighting chance, Scion is giving it a few months lead to win over more customers.
The iQ has been on sale in Asia and Europe since 2008 and has successfully taken many sales away from the smart fortwo, mainly due to having a much smoother gearbox (CVT automatic or 5-speed manual) and being more practical (it can carry three adults plus a child). It also features the industry-first, rear-glass airbag to protect the heads of back seat passengers.
[Source: Green Car Reports]
Deal would see Toyota give BMW iQ platform for future mini-car models
Last week we reported on a story that BMW was in talks with Toyota to use its iQ city car platform as the basis of a future mini-MINI. Now it appears that deal may be two-sized as AutoCar is reporting that in exchange Toyota may get use of the MINI Coupe and Roadster platform to use as the basis of a new sporty vehicle.
Neither automaker has made any official comments on the exchange and while unlikely, both companies would benefit in certain ways. Currently BMW is in need of a mini-car platform to underpin a new line of cars including a small electric city car and a possible replacement for the Isetta. There have already been numerous rumors that BMW was working with Fiat to develop such a platform although Toyota’s reputation for quality is certainly more in line with BMW’s way of doing business.
At the same time, Toyota is desperate for a small sporty car that can capture the attention of younger buyers and enthusiasts.
Toyota is already in talks with Aston Martin, which wants to use the iQ base for its Cygnet city car.
First shown as a concept (above) at the New York Auto Show earlier this year, Scion will reportedly bring the iQ to market by the Fall of 2010.
After receiving an excellent reception at the show, Scion’s VP, Jack Hollis has said he is fighting to get the car to market. One large Toyota dealer, has however, spilled the beans, telling the folks at AutoWeek that an agreement has been reached to bring the diminutive car to the U.S.
At a length of just 117.5-inches, the iQ is only slightly larger than a SMART fortwo. Unlike the SMART, however, the iQ can fit three adults and a child… at least that’s what Scion says. Taking a look at the car, however, it appears as though seating for two is about all there’s room for.
While several engine options are available in Europe, the iQ will most likely get the largest (1.3-liter four-cylinder) when it debuts in the U.S. That engine makes 99hp and gets 66 mpg.
Scion is a company desperate to reinvent itself, as its popularity is based as much on fresh product as it is on customizing that product. “Scion is a good business mode that will be valuable and viable in the future, but for the business model to be successful, product freshness is key,” said Toyota North America president and COO Yoshi Inaba. And fresh-product isn’t something Scion has much of. Currently the company is working on a replacement to the tC coupe, while the iconic Scion, the xB, is already starting to lose out to new models like the Kia Soul.
Aston Martin has just released details of an upcoming concept car the luxury British automaker is working on… and it’s not at all what you might expect. Rather than a high-powered exotic, this new machine, called the Cygnet, is a tiny commuter car.
The Cygnet is based on the Toyota iQ and while it sounds like an April Fool’s joke, the reality is that this mini-car has a lot of potential. For starters, Aston Martin is working on giving the Cygnet a unique Aston Martin look and a serious luxury interior. No doubt owners, particularly in large European urban centers, could use a vehicle like this and then take their $300,000 DBS out to the country on the weekend.
There is, however, an additional (and very strong) reason the Cygnet may become a reality, and that is the increasingly restrictive fuel-economy regulations in both Europe and the United States. If Aston Martin builds a car like this with what will no doubt be a tiny fuel-efficient engine, it will offset the gas-sucking V8s and V12s that are used in the rest of the company’s lineup.
Currently the Toyota iQ is offered overseas with three engines, the most potent of which makes 99hp from a 1.33-liter gasoline engine.
“Now is the right time for Aston Martin to take this first bold step to embark on this special project – made possible with the support of an organization of Toyota’s stature and capability and the intelligent design and perfect city car package of the iQ,” said Aston Martin CEO, Dr Ulrich Bez. “Much work is still required, but I am confident that this project could become reality in the not too distant future. This concept – akin to an exclusive tender to a luxury yacht – will allow us to apply Aston Martin design language, craftsmanship and brand values to a completely new segment of the market.”
Dr. Bez even alluded to selling the Cygnet like an add-on package to compliment one of the company’s pricier models. “The offering of a ‘Cygnet’ with a DBS, DB9 or Vantage is a unique combination of opposites and a novel transport solution allowing intelligent and sensitive mobility on an exclusive and innovative level,” he said.
According to Automotive News, the Cygnet could be made available to current and prospective Aston Martin owners as early as next year with mass-market sales following the year after. The price of the Cygnet is expected to be around 23,000 Euros – or roughly $32,000.
[Source: Automotive News]
Official release after the jump:
Convertible minicar could be branded as a Scion in the U.S.
Toyota appears to be readying a convertible version of the iQ minicar that is currently on sale in Japan and Europe. The report comes from Japan’s Best Car magazine, which suggests much of the basics will be kept including a 1.3-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 99hp and 92 ft-lbs of torque. Fuel-economy for this engine is rated an an average of 51 mpg – although Toyota offers even smaller and more fuel-efficient powerplants including a 1.0-liter four-cylinder and a 1.4-liter turbodiesel.
Presumably cabriolet or roadster model would do without the two rear seats found in the coupe – which are by all accounts entirely useless.
Pricing in Japan could be 2 million Yen, which works out to a rather steep $20,300.
While it seems unlikely, there is potential for this car to make its way to North America. At the recent New York Auto Show, Toyota youth-brand Scion debuted a concept based on the iQ. This showed that Toyota is certainly interested in exploring whether or not to bring the iQ to the U.S. and apparently it sees the Scion brand as a better fit for the car. And as small a niche market as a vehicle like this may seem, the iQ Cabriolet already has a competitor with the SMART fortwo Cabriolet.
Best Car also suggests that Honda will bring back the Beat in order to compete with this new model from Toyota.
Scion wowed the audience at the New York Auto Show with its radioactive iQ Concept. The micro-car, which is based on the Toyota iQ currently on sale in Japan and Europe, got some SEMA-style with 18-inch wheels and a widebody designed by Five Axis.
We’d like to say this vehicle will make it to market but considerng Scion’s track record of continuously debuting concept cars while key models in the company’s product range (cough… tC… cough) grow old, it’s anyones guess.
The iQ Concept is designed for urban youth and is roughly the size of a SMART car, making it about two feet shorter in length than a Yaris.
Inside the iQ gets plenty of high-tech gadgetry with a 10-inch LCD screen that flips out of the center console. This screen is used to operate all of the vehicle’s entertainment functions and doubles as a DVD player when the vehicle is in park. And when not in use the screen folds flat to deliver a screen-saver-like light show.
Powered by a 93 hp 1.3-liter four-cylinder engine, the iQ is already efficient, but to help driver’s get the most out of their micro-compact, the iQ comes equipped with an “eco lamp” that lights up under efficient driving.
In terms of safety, the iQ Concept has all the modern safety features you might expect as well as a few surprises. In total, the cabin has nine airbags, including a world’s first rear curtain airbag.
“We believe the Scion iQ micro-subcompact concept is the future of transportation,” said Jack Hollis, VP at Scion. “If it should join our future line-up, I think it could reach iconic status like our xB. Its styling will attract attention and if it’s a Scion, you know it’ll be easy to personalize.”
More on the Scion iQ Concept after the jump: