In order to pack enough components and space into such a small little thing, Toyota’s new premium small car the Toyota iQ warranted an all-new platform with many newly designed components.
Some packaging innovations used in the new Toyota iQ includes a relocated differential moved to the front side of the engine to allow the front wheels to be moved further forward, a new steering rack that is mounted high on the firewall, a new wiper motor and mechanism to allow for the new steering rack, a book-thin flat fuel tank located under the rear passenger’s feet, a compact yet powerful climate control unit, ultrathin seatbacks to create more space, and repositioned engine ancillaries around the suspension for a turning radius of 3.9 meters. Because the rear passenger is so close to the rear of the car, there are even rear windshield airbags.
The iQ will have a production volume of only 100,000 units a year which is not enough to recover the R&D costs, so a few more cars based on the Toyota iQ platform is expected to arrive soon. One is a small SUV – likely to be a Cross-iQ, and others would include a compact 7-seater as well as a car to replace the Toyota Yaris.
It seems that the Toyota iQ is actually a challenge to Toyota’s R&D team to rethink how they usually design a vehicle platform, and then use the space-maximizing innovations and platform to create more normal sized cars that offer class-leading interior space. Imagine, perhaps two generations from now we will get an iQ-based Toyota Vios B-segment sedan that offers C-segment interior space.
And it will all be because of the Toyota iQ.