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 |  Mar 04 2009, 9:11 AM

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Earlier this year Toyota launched the iQ micro-car in Europe and now the Japanese automaker has unveiled  a more “performance-oriented” version of the cute and trendy iQ.

The new engine is a 99hp VVT-i 1.33-liter four-cylinder that makes 92 ft-lbs of torque at 4400 rpm. It comes standard with Toyota’s six-speed manual transmission, which features Toyota’s Stop & Start function, allowing the engine to be shut off at stop lights (or when stuck in traffic).

As soon as the operator puts the shifter in neutral and releases the clutch pedal, the engine shuts off. The engine will then restart when the clutch pedal is depressed within half a second. This is made possible by a permanently engaged gear mechanism that links the starter and flywheel.

Toyota says that its Stop & Start technology is good for a fuel-savings of 3 percent. As for the fuel-economy numbers, the iQ boasts a combined city/highway rating of 51 mpg (or 4.8 liters/100km).

The two iQ models currently offered are the 68hp 1.0-liter gasoline model and the 90hp 1.4-liter turbodiesel.

The iQ is just three meters long and Toyota claims it is the world’s smallest four-seater at just 3 meters (roughly 9.8 feet). You’d need to be an amputee from the waist-down to use the back seats though. And while the car is a hatchback, there’s about enough room behind the second row for a single sheet of paper.

The new 1.33-liter iQ will be offered in an iQ3 model, which comes with 16-inch wheels and a special Ash Grey paint.

GALLERY: Toyota iQ 1.33

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More on the Toyota iQ after the jump:

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