Toyota is world-premiering the production design of the new iQ at the Geneva Motor Show. First shown as the Concept Car iQ at last year's Frankfurt Motor Show, the iQ will go into production during late 2008.
The new iQ is a sophisticated car, representing the ultimate refined urban mode of transportation.
Thanks to its ingenious and revolutionary packaging it measures less than three metres in length, yet has a flexible interior space that allows up to three adults, plus a child or luggage to travel comfortably.
The name iQ is the best representation of what the car embodies. "i" stands for individuality, whilst at the same time also expressing "innovation" and "intelligence". "Q" stands for "quality" and also suggesting that its "cubic" stature gives a "cue" to new value and lifestyle.
The iQ delivers dynamism and stability despite its small size. It challenges conventional thinking through a design that is forward-looking, intelligent and energetic, while retaining clarity of purpose and function.
The marvel of the iQ's ingenuity is in its revolutionary packaging, which is the result of six space-saving but inter-linked engineering innovations that represent a break-through in Toyota's automotive vehicle development.
"The iQ story started a few years ago when we at Toyota began thinking of the environmental impact of automobiles. We came to the conclusion that, in order to ensure a sustainable future, there was a need for a radical change in vehicle packaging. We needed to create a break-through, away from the traditional belief that small is basic. Our answer to this is Toyota iQ," says Kazuo Okamoto, Executive Vice President, in charge of Research and Development at Toyota Motor Corporation.
The iQ is designed to cater for the needs of buyers who seek more than just urban mobility but demand space and refinement in an environmentallyfriendly vehicle.
The design of the new iQ has its origin in Japan with J-Factor influences at its core. Toyota explains J-Factor as that aspect of Japanese originality and quality that creates modern, attractive, and globally appealing products from the apparent disharmony and contradictory nature of its original components. Expressions such as ‘small yet spacious', ‘high-tech yet human' and ‘emotional yet functional' are all examples of what Toyota calls J-Factor.
Although iQ is less than three metres in length, measuring 2,985mm precisely, it has a spacious interior. And while the ingenious packaging requires hi-tech solutions, the human appeal is in the requirement to meet intelligent urban transportation needs.
Drawing inspiration from J-Factor, Toyota has developed a unique design language called Vibrant Clarity. Vibrant Clarity is the key to answering the long-standing paradox of designing vehicles that are both energised and dynamic, but at the same time rational and ingenious. The word Vibrant represents a more forward-looking, vital nature that expresses the feeling of energy.
Clarity symbolises all that is fresh, clean and simple, stressing the rational aspect in the design equation - keeping the design crisp, the functionality intact and ensuring that the concept is easily understandable.This Vibrant Clarity design philosophy infuses cars with an emotional intensity that is uniquely identifiable as a Toyota.
The iQ contains three key elements of Vibrant Clarity design
Perfect imbalance of proportions: a simple and daring exterior with a strong contrast between the stable and robust stance provided by the iQ's width and the shortness of its overall length.
Integrated component architecture where each unit contributes to the overall design: the structure around the tyres forms part of the minimal front and rear overhangs, a synergy that conveys both strength and agility.
Freeform geometrics: the exterior surfaces are almost mathematical in their cleanliness and precision, but also possess movement and emotion to make the design fresh and contemporary.
The four wheels - placed at the extremities of each corner - give the iQ a self-assured ‘super stance'. At just 2,985mm in length, but with a proportionally larger wheelbase of 2,000mm, the iQ is small in size, but unlike a small car possesses a confident on-road appearance. The iQ's robustness is further enhanced by the tough-looking bumpers. Strong vertical lines define the rear view of the iQ, while the bold rear lamp lenses are divided into three segments by horizontal lines, which help underpin the iQ's strong presence. The iQ is fitted with 5-spoke 16-inch alloy wheels that confidently fill the bold wheel arches.
The exterior styling blends dynamism and stability: prominent crease lines define the high belt line while the V-line of the A-pillar creates tension across the wheel arches.
Smooth lines flow from the front bumpers, curve graciously up through the front pillars to meet the roof and sweep back down towards the rear hatch where they are replaced by edgier, well-defined lines.
From a rear three-quarter perspective the creative tension continues. A seamless line runs from the edge of the roofline towards the B-pillar and curves around the deep rear glass area, before returning towards the rear hatch and then tailing off at the bold, geometrically-shaped wheel arches.
At the front of the car, smoked headlamp units are set deep into the bonnet and wings. Door mirrors with integrated turn indicators further reflect the iQ's refined urban appeal.
Techno-organic theme for interior styling
The ‘on-the-edge' exterior styling is replicated in the iQ's refined interior architecture. By mathematically analysing and recreating the structural beauty of natural objects, Toyota has achieved a ‘techno-organic' design which fuses geometric precision with inner beauty.
This is demonstrated in the floating ‘V' centre console, which dominates the asymmetric dashboard. At the base of the V is a single dial that controls the functions of the air conditioning. Situated within the arms of the V are cabin temperature controls with an LCD that displays airflow, twin face-level air vents and at the top a 5.8-inch colour touch screen satellite navigation display.
The V-design both separates and joins the two halves of the asymmetric dashboard design, while providing a visually appealing focus on the interior.
The steering wheel is flat-bottomed to provide the driver with greater legroom. Controls for audio are placed on the wheel to save space on the centre console and to offer a high-level of convenience for the driver.
Other techno-organic features include matt silver door handles with flowing manta-ray styling. While the ultra slim seatbacks are formed in a stylish one-piece moulding that enhances the edgy feel of the iQ and assist in freeing up additional passenger space.
A secret tray is neatly concealed below the rear seat, again providing more storage for passengers without sacrificing the cabin space.
For more luggage capacity the 50/50 split rear seats can be separately folded flat to increase the available load area.
The interior is finished in rich chocolate-plum colour, which contrasts with the matt silver of the techno-organic architecture to provide an environment of urban sophistication.