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Toyota Planning iQ Cabriolet

Convertible minicar could be branded as a Scion in the U.S.

 |  Jun 09 2009, 12:41 PM

toyota-iq-cabrio.jpg

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.

[Source: 4WheelsNews.com]