We've always liked the Toyota iQ mini-car, a three-seater just a hair bigger than the Smart ForTwo. Now it looks like we'll see it here in the US, courtesy of Toyota's younger brother, the Scion brand.
Scion has scheduled a press conference at the New York Auto Show where they plan to unveil a "micro-subcompact car," a new segment for Scion that reflects the brand's "youthful image" and ties into the "growing urbanization trend." Uh HUH.
As several sites have concluded, among them Autoblog Green, this sounds an awful lot like sticking a Scion badge on the Toyota iQ introduced just a year ago at the Geneva Auto Show. For Asia and Europe, the car is fitted with a three-cylinder, 1-liter engine; no word on whether that would remain for the US.
This would give Scion a direct competitor for the 2009 Smart ForTwo, which unexpectedly sold 25,000 units last year but is now piling up on dealer lots, according to Automotive News (subscription required).
For our money, there are few cars as unpleasant to drive as the ForTwo, so we're eager to test the new Toyota. Errr, Scion.
And who knows, perhaps there's even an all-electric Scion waiting in the wings, based on the Toyota FT-EV concept shown at this year's Detroit Auto Show?
Of course, what we'd really like is a production version of the Scion Hako Coupe, last year's New York Auto Show concept. Perhaps the most polarizing design we've seen this decade, it makes any Scion-ized iQ look utterly, completely normal.
2009 Scion Hako Coupe Concept
[SOURCE: Scion press release, below]
SCION TO REVEAL CONCEPT CAR AT 2009 NEW YORK INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW
TORRANCE, Calif., March 18, 2009 – Scion will unveil a micro-subcompact concept car at the 2009 New York International Auto Show. The concept reflects Scion's youthful image and represents a new segment for the brand aimed toward the growing urbanization trend.
The Scion press conference will take place on Wednesday, April 8 at 12:05 p.m. EDT in the Galleria on level four in the Javits Convention Center.
Production versions of the xB urban utility vehicle, tC sports coupe and xD urban subcompact five-door will be on display in the Scion space as well as five highly-modified vehicles that debuted at the 2008 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show in Las Vegas.
A video clip of the press conference will be available for viewing following the event on the scion.com website.