2007 Toyota iQ Concept

"The right car for the right place at the right time," is how Toyota's executive V.P. of Europe, Thierry Dombreval, describes the tiny white IQ. When Dombreval refers to "place," he probably isn't talking about Texas, since the IQ falls between the Smart ForTwo and the Mini Cooper in size, but with a 3+1 seating arrangement.

Smart fits only two people into the city car that goes on sale here early next year, but that might be the smarter way to package vehicles that are less than ten feet long. In the Toyota concept car, the "+1" is code for "+child," but if you have a look inside the remaining three feet of vehicle, you could surmise that "3+Chihuahua" is more appropriate.

Your friends in Texas will take a look at the glass roof, laugh uproariously, and predict, "You'll be one cooked egg, in that egg." They'll be right about the heat, but designers at Toyota's styling studio in the South of France arranged pleasing geometric shapes without making a geometric dome of a vehicle.

If the IQ ever makes it onto European streets, you'll blink twice and measure once to make sure it isn't a Smart. As for the States? Dream on. But maybe some of the IQ's styling cues will make it into the next-generation Yaris.

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