Rumormill: Toyota working on hybrid iQ

Click above for a high-res gallery of the 2009 Toyota iQ.

While we're clamoring for small, efficient transportation, Europe is already awash with micro cars, diesels, and hatchbacks. When Toyota designed and engineered the tiny iQ, it had to go smaller and greener than the competition, so the little four-seater is only about 1.5 feet longer than a Smart fortwo. AutoExpress is reporting that Toyota is prepared to take iQ to the next level of green, with a plug-in hybrid version of the micro mini. Plug-in technology would reportedly be shared with the next generation Prius, save for an engine that goes from 1.0L to a displacement of only 500 cc. Chargeable batteries will enable the iQ to travel 15 miles or more without a drop of CO2-spewing combustion, and the smaller engine would stay stingy when it does come to life. While the iQ is probably still a little too small for large scale US consumption, we're sure the vehicle would have quite the cult following if it could pull off fuel economy in the 100 mpg range. If gas decides to travel back north of the $4 mark, though, even a clown car would be acceptable Stateside.

[Source: AutoExpress]

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