Share on Facebook
by Adam Lynton
Japanese auto giant to take the wraps off its production-ready electric city car at the Paris Motor Show.
Toyota's electric offering of the mini iQ (think poorer relative of the Aston Cygnet) was first unveiled in concept form at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show. Now it seems that the pint-sized EV is getting closer to production form as the Japanese automaker confirms that the iQ EV will be making an appearance at this week's Paris Motor Show. At 3,120 mm long, the electric iQ is 135 mm longer and 125 kg heavier than the gasoline-powered model, but otherwise mimicks its dimensions and passenger and cargo capacity, such as it is.
Set to do battle with the Smart Fortwo Electric Drive, the iQ EV is powered by a 63-horsepower permanent magnet synchronous electric motor and a downsized 12 kWh lithium-ion battery located in the bed of the car. Toyota claims this layout will not eat up the minicar's limited cabin space. 120 pound-feet of instant torque sent to the front wheels enables the iQ EV to schlepp from 0 to 62 mph in a lethargic 14 seconds and on to a 78mph top speed. Fully recharging the battery takes 3 hours with a 230-volt outlet, while a quick charger enables an 80% charge to be completed in just 15 minutes. In between charges, the iQ EV has a 53-mile range.
A new exterior combines white pearl and black for a distinctive two-tone look, and as per the latest generation of Toyota cars, the lower bumper adopts trapezoidal lines and an enlarged lower grille with a gloss black finish and daytime running lights. The high-contrast color scheme continues inside with partial leather and standard equipment including heated front seats and windscreen, climate control and 6-speaker sound systems, Hill Start Assist and nine airbags. The iQ EV will first be launched in Japan as the eQ, offering 100 units priced at 3,600,000 yen, targeted at fleet customers rather than private individuals.