Frankfurt Motor Show: Toyota iQ Sports and iQ Collection

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 25, 2009

Being small certainly isn´t synonymous to being insignificant as proven by the Toyota iQ, which attracted a lot of attention at the Frankfurt Motor Show. Shown were two bold new designs that made everyone conclude that responsible, sub-100g/km motoring can be exciting as well. The iQ, the world's smallest four-seat production car, already gets plenty of attention due to its contemporary and compact styling.

Now that Toyota is displaying how the iQ could be customized with street-cool body kits and vibrant interiors, it is bound to attract even more interest. The Toyota iQ Collection is focused mainly on the cabin. The body's white pearl finish is seen as well on the trim details such as the center console, instrument binnacle and door panels.

A matching white shade is seen on the leather upholstery. Exclusive to the show model is a central seat panel design. Since the roof is fully glazed, it makes for an exceptionally light and bright interior.

Inspired by urban street style, Toyota iQ for Sports has a bespoke body kit that accentuates iQ's broad stance, powerful geometry and clean, sweeping lines. The car rides on custom-made 18-inch alloys and features aero-headlamps with high-intensity LED driving lights.

Also featured are a rear roof spoiler and a trapezoidal central exhaust. For its interiors, radical styling continues to be the theme. It has illuminated door handles, a swiveling spotlight on top of the dash, an illuminated iQ logo and trim panels crafted in raw nickel and aluminum.

The seats are finished in bright green and grey upholstery, with contrasting bolsters in a matt-black scuba-style polyurethane. The headlining is also a vibrant green. A 10-inch LCD touch-screen controls on-board entertainment and navigation. It even has DVD playback and music library functions.

It was 5 years ago when Toyota started a program with the aim of improving vehicle packaging made possible by putting the focus on utilizing innovative solutions meant for scaling down certain features of a vehicle. The result of this particular venture would serve as the basis for developing the Toyota iQ. The goal for developing this type of vehicle was to have one whose overall length was at most 3 meters but would still be able to fit in four people.

By coming out with the iQ, Toyota revealed that this milestone is likely to have an impact on future vehicles to be developed by the company. In more ways than one, the Toyota iQ is what modern mobility is all about, which is being refined and at the same time environmentally efficient. The iQ however is not only about transporting four people (composed of three adults and one child) in safety and comfort.

Since the company had to start from scratch, it resulted in the iQ being a unique and inventive vehicle. With overall length of 2,985 mm, width of 1,680 mm, and height of 1,500 mm high, this model is the best example when it comes to the ingenuity and determination of the company’s design team and engineering team. Since the wheelbase measures 2,000 mm, it gives the iQ a muscular but compact style. In terms of design, the iQ serves as an example of the company’s J-factor heritage. This is simply fully utilizing the best elements when it comes to Japanese aesthetics like modernism and miniaturization.

However what makes this style distinct is in how it manages to bring a balance between elements that appear to be contradictory like being hi-tech yet still human or being spacious despite being small. The J-factor style has long been the basis of the company when it comes to their Vibrant Clarity design philosophy and it has helped them resolve a number of paradoxes like coming up with vehicles that are ingenious and rational while being dynamic and energized.

This design concept has three important components and one of this is known as the Freeform Geometrics. A good example is the techno-organic design of the iQ, particularly in how the center console has been styled to look like a manta ray.

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