Toyota already sells the iQ, a tiny urban runabout, in Europe and Japan, but this is the first time the company has acknowledged a desire to sell the car here in America. The Scion iQ concept that debuted at the 2009 New York Auto Show wears high-zoot bodywork from Five Axis, a car customizer from Huntington Beach, California, but if an iQ comes to your Scion dealership, it likely won't look quite as crazy as this.
The point here, as is often the case with concept cars, is to gauge consumer interest, so Scion will display the iQ at several auto shows this year and then make a decision by the end of 2009 as to whether the iQ will be sold here. If the iQ does make it here, we'd expect to see it sometime in 2010. It would become the fourth Scion model, after the xA, the xB, and the tC coupe.
By American standards, the iQ is indeed tiny, but Scion thinks there is an emerging market for small urban cars for young people who increasingly eschew the suburbs where they grew up for hip city centers. At only about ten feet in length, the three-passenger iQ sure would be a snap to park. The iQ concept's 18-inch wheels are pushed to the corners to give the car an aggressive stance, one that's emphasized by the deep front air dam, custom lower grille, narrow upper-grille opening, deep side skirts, and bubble flares housing the wheels. A roof spoiler and a thick rear diffuser emphasize the iQ's trapezoidal rear shape, which is accented by a single, centered rear exhaust.
Inside, the iQ concept has a retractable ten-inch LCD screen that serves as the main entertainment console and the nav system interface. In a vehicle like this, aimed at Gen Y, naturally every means of entertaining its occupants will be available, from full iPod interfaces to accessing your personal music library and all of the other audio/visual stimulants that are 24/7 essentials for the target audience.
If you're a member of that target audience and you like what you see here, let Scion know, and maybe you'll be able to drive an iQ in your own urban paradise sometime in 2010 or 2011.