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2011 Scion iQ Preview

2011 Scion iQ Preview

By Jeff Youngs, December 31, 2010

Critical Facts:
  • All-new model for North America
  • The world's smallest 4-seater
  • 1.3-liter, 4-cylinder engine
  • Continuously variable transmission (CVT)
  • Full complement of safety equipment
  • Industry's first rear-window curtain air bag
  • Set to arrive in early 2011

The 2011 Scion iQ is an all-new model to the North American market, butit has been on sale in Europe since late 2008 as the Toyota iQ.Designed in France, the Scion iQ is considered a microcar-thanks to itsdiminutive stature. Designed for 4-passenger accommodations, the iQ issignificantly larger than the SmartFortwo (the Fortwo is 106.1" inlength, while the iQ is 117.5" in length), but its competitor onlyoffers two seats.

According to Toyota, the "iQ" nomenclature has a meaning. The "i"refers to "individuality" "innovation" and "intelligence" while the "Q"stands for "quality" and the hatchback's "cubic" shape. The new ScioniQ is set to arrive in dealerships in early 2011.

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Scion calls its new 2011 iQa "premium micro-subcompact" vehicle. Whenit arrives next year, the smallest Scion model will be targeted at anurban driving audience-those who want to take advantage of its smallstature and high fuel economy.

Under the hood is a 1.3-liter 4-cylinder engine producing more than 90horsepower. It is mated to a standard continuously variabletransmission (CVT) with an expected fuel economy in the high 30s, saysthe automaker. Its suspension consists of MacPherson struts up front,and a torsion beam design in the rear.

According to Scion, the iQ is small in size but large on safety. Activesafety features include Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), an anti-lockbrake system (ABS) with electronic brake-force distribution (EBD),brake assist (BA) and traction control (TRAC). The iQ also boasts 10standard air bags, including the world's first rear-window curtain airbag.

The 2011 Scion iQ was designed to maximize space and engineered tomaximize fuel economy, the company says. With that in mind, thewindshield is pushed far forward to allow for the largest possiblecabin. In addition, the fuel tank is flat and the shock absorbersmounted at an angle-both designs limit cabin intrusion, according toScion. Even the heater and air conditioner have been miniaturized,again to maximize passenger space. With a curb weight of less than2,000 pounds (most passenger cars tip the scales around 3,500 pounds),the 1.3-liter engine should be more than capable of moving the iQ at asuitable pace-and meeting its goal of delivering high fuel economy.

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