When Toyota revealed the tiny city car called the iQ back in March, we were struck by its looks, but didn't think of putting one on display in one of these rooms where everything echoes. But, thanks to a new partnership between Toyota and the Royal College of Art, the iQ has indeed made it from the expo floor to the art gallery. Toyota and the RCA apparently believe that the "revolutionary new iQ is to provide the inspiration for the finest new design talent." And here we thought it would be an efficient way to drive in a city. Hm.

The partnership's main purpose is a design competition for students and college alumni that explore "intelligent urban living design." The main reason for the exhibit - aside from the promotional angle - is to showcase the "six space-saving, interlinked engineering innovations that represent a break-through in Toyota's vehicle development" that allowed Toyota to pack four seats (well, 3+1) into the iQ. More from Toyota after the jump. The iQ remains on display through Tuesday.

[Source: Toyota]


Toyota and Royal College of Art announce new partnership agreement

Toyota's revolutionary new iQ is to provide the inspiration for the finest new design talent. In a ground breaking partnership with the Royal College of Art, launched last night during the London Design Festival, Toyota is set to promote innovative design for urban living, using its new premium city car as a template for excellence.

The ambition of the partnership is not just to inspire new thinking and achievement in design, but to reach across a wide spectrum of disciplines to produce ideas and concepts that respond to the many and varied challenges of modern urban living.

The partnership will primarily involve a design competition involving students and college alumni exploring intelligent urban living design.

iQ is a perfect representation of successful problem solving. Toyota's designers and engineers came up with a series of radical solutions that link together to create a car that is less than three metres long, yet has four seats on board. With no compromise in quality, performance or safety and with the benefit of fuel efficient and low emissions powertrains, iQ is ideally suited to urban life, addressing key issues of congestion, pollution and personal mobility.

Leading designer and Royal College of Art Alumnus Dick Powell of Seymour Powell says, "I think it's a great idea for Toyota to mark the launch of the iQ car by tapping into the design creativity of the Royal College of Art. What better way to express the theme of Intelligent Urban Living than by asking the next generation of designers to think about the radical designs that will change our experience of living in cities."

The iQ's revolutionary packaging is achieved through six space-saving, interlinked engineering innovations that represent a break-through in Toyota's vehicle development. These innovations have been detailed in a special exhibit, which also includes an iQ vehicle, now on display at the Royal College of Art

The Royal College of Art in Kensington, London, is one of the world's most respected centres for postgraduate art and design study. Its partnership programme with Toyota will run through to next summer and will include an Intelligent Urban Living design competition for students and college alumni with substantial prize fund. The winning designs will be displayed in a special exhibition at the Royal College of Art in early 2009.

Speaking at the partnership launch, Professor Sir Christopher Frayling, Rector, Royal College of Art said, "At the RCA, our designers and researchers have long been preoccupied with both advances in automotive design and new patterns and products for urban living. The Toyota partnership with the College is a fantastic platform for our postgraduate creative community to develop radical design ideas that embody the spirit of the new iQ car.

"We've worked with Toyota as an industry partner in the past - this new project really turns up the volume on our relationship. We're delighted with it."

Miguel Fonseca, Toyota GB Managing Director, said: "Toyota has a proud history of innovative design and technical excellence, qualities that are fully expressed by iQ. Not only does this remarkable new car mark important advances in automotive design, we believe it can also inspire and inform excellence in contemporary design and design thinking in general.

"We are proud to be working in partnership with the Royal College of Art, one of the world's most distinguished and creative centres for learning, in ensuring iQ achieves this potential. We are very excited about seeing the innovative student designs when the competition results are unveiled early in the new year."

iQ will be on display at the Royal College of Art from 19 - 23 September.

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