To no one's surprise, Toyota unveiled the Scion iQ concept today at the New York Auto Show. Ever since the iQ debuted in Europe last year, the expectation has been that Toyota would sell the micro compact car as a Scion here in the U.S. to compete against the Smart ForTwo. What surprised us were the modifications made to the iQ for its debut in the States. In keeping with the customization culture that is rampant among Scion owners, the concept features widely flared fenders and super-size 18-inch wheels.
Like the current production model, the concept iQ features 3+1 seating with a very compact air conditioning unit that facilitates an asymmetrical dashboard. This allows the front passenger seat to slide forward so that one adult can fit in the back. The seat behind the driver, however, is strictly for the legless. One new innovation in the iQ is a rear window airbag that provides protection to rear seat passengers whose heads are butted up against the rear glass. The concept also features lots of special lighting and a pop-up 10-inch LCD embedded in the dash.
Scion is just evaluating the iQ for U.S. introduction, but we would be shocked not to see it sold here soon.
Photos Copyright ©2009 Sam Abuelsamid and Sebastian Blanco / Weblogs, Inc.
Scion Reveals iQ Concept at the 2009 New York International Auto Show
NEW YORK, April 8, 2009 -- At the New York Auto Show today, Scion unveiled a special concept version of the iQ micro-subcompact car designed to meet the transportation needs of young urban trendsetters.
Scion's iQ concept is a new urban vehicle with a revolutionary package that is just over 10 feet in length and accommodates three plus luggage. As more and more urban centers are revitalized with a new sense of purpose, energy, and creativity, young people are moving in from the suburbs to embrace new urbanism and are looking for a car that suits their needs and delivers high emotional value.
Scion's iQ concept is the intelligent answer to this need for highly emotional and efficient urban transportation. The convenience of having work, entertainment and culture nearby for young city-dwellers is a significant draw to urban centers. The vehicle must be able to navigate narrow, congested streets, park in tight places, have impressive fuel economy, and have compelling design and function.
"Scion's iQ concept turns traditional auto design upside down," said Jack Hollis, Scion vice president. "Traditionally small vehicles have been thought of as being basic. The iQ concept is just the opposite with its innovative features and iconic urban design, and we believe it fits in well within the Scion brand. Our young, trendsetting buyers are creative and innovative forward thinkers, and we think they will appreciate what iQ has to offer."
The production iQ is currently sold in Japan and Europe. Five Axis of Huntington Beach, Calif. took the iQ to the next level with aggressive exterior and interior modifications that show the vehicle's potential for personalization.
With its 78.7-inch wheelbase, the three-door hatchback can deftly maneuver through city traffic. At the same time, its overall length of 126.9-inches, overall width of 71.4-inches, and short front and rear overhangs allow the iQ to fit in virtually any city parking space. The front-mounted differential and repositioned steering rack decrease front end length. In addition, the iQ is equipped with a flat gas tank housed beneath the floor that reduces rear overhang.
Pushing the wheels of the small, bold concept towards the four corners of the body gives the iQ a confident stance. The custom 18-inch wheels with a nickel finish and wide tires fill the wheel well, adding to its surefootedness. The iQ's custom front air dam, aero headlamps and high-intensity LED driving lamps signal urban road readiness.
"We believe the Scion iQ micro-subcompact concept is the future of transportation," said Hollis. "If it should join our future line-up, I think it could reach iconic status like our xB. Its styling will attract attention and if it's a Scion, you know it'll be easy to personalize."
The iQ's profile is defined by a strong and high beltline. Smooth lines glide from the large, dark finish headlamps, up the A-pillar, across the roof and wrap around the rear emphasizing the concept's geometric beauty. Side mirrors with integrated turn signals accent the clean design.
The rear emphasizes the vehicle's modern style. Trapezoidal lines run toward the wheels, from the hatch to the thick rear diffuser, creating a substantial presence. A center-mounted trapezoid exhaust adds to the vehicle's distinctiveness, while large, matte-finished rear taillights help keep the vehicle visible.
The iQ's interior fuses function, style and entertainment. Attention to detail and modern accents can be seen in the illuminated door handle; the swiveling spotlight that hovers over the dash; an illuminated iQ logo on the passenger-side dash and nickel and raw aluminum toned interior panels. Iridescent green and gray honeycomb upholstery covering the door panels and seating areas, combined with the custom exterior paint, provides a balance of freshness and sophistication. Black matte scuba-like polyurethane covers the seat bolsters and is also used on the headliner with a bright green topstitch for a contemporary finish.
The iQ features a 10-inch panel LCD screen on top of the center cluster that serves as the main entertainment console and navigation system interface. With the push of a button, the touch-screen articulates to reveal the entertainment hub. The touch screen can also play movies while the vehicle is parked. When not in use, the screen lays flat on the dash with a translucent cover that emits a colorful display of light patterns to make the interior even more unique.
A few quick strokes to the black panel below the entertainment hub, or steering wheel controls, command the audio system to shuffle through a music library. The center cluster also features three control knobs for dual front heating and air conditioning settings. The driver and front passenger each have a knob that displays their desired temperature and controls their temperature and fan settings. The center knob dictates zone control for both occupants.
The instrument panel has a speedometer, warning lamps, and a multi-information display. The multi-information display allows the driver to toggle through the odometer, average speed, temperature and eco lamp. The eco lamp illuminates during efficient driving to help the driver achieve maximum fuel economy.
Comfortable front passenger legroom was achieved with a newly-engineered, compact air conditioning unit located behind the center of the front console. The iQ employs a glove bag, with the same textured, honeycomb fabric as the front and rear seats, that can be easily snapped on and off for storage or additional legroom.
Rear seating can accommodate one adult behind the front passenger and a child, small package, or pet behind the driver. Extra slim front seat backs provide rear passengers with legroom. The rear seats are 50/50 and fold flat for increased utility. In addition, the rear seat cushion lifts up to reveal a small flat storage space that can be used for pocket-sized portable music players, small books, digital cameras, or slim laptops.
The iQ does not skimp on safety and is equipped with Vehicle Stability Control (VSC); an anti-lock brake system (ABS) with Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD); Brake Assist (BA); and nine SRS airbags, which includes the world's first rear window curtain airbag. Other airbags include driver and front passenger front airbags; driver and front passenger seat-mounted side airbags; side curtain airbags; a driver knee airbag; and a front passenger seat cushion airbag.
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SCION iQ CONCEPT VEHICLE
1.3-liter, four-cylinder, VVT-i
Front wheel drive
71.4 without side mirrors
79.3 including side mirrors
56.9 without antenna
62.5 including antenna
Five Axis custom stainless exhaust
Five:AD S6:F custom wheels with nickel finish prototyped by MetalFX
TEIN Super Street coilover suspension
Five Axis widebody conversion
Burnt nickel accents
Custom accented headlights and taillights