Toyota’s Chief engineer Hiroki Nakajima told Automotive News today that the company is investigating introducing the three-door city car to the U.S. market. Nakajima said that if the iQ gets official clearance to come to the States, it will most likely be launched in the midterm, before the first model update. Certain safety standards have to be met in order to gain DOT approval, which requires changes to the vehicles airbag system, as well as improve bumper specs.
The iQ is about the size of a Smart car, with a similar configuration. Goes on sale in Europe in the first quarter of 2009. It will launch with a 1.0L 3 cylinder gasoline engine, with a 1.3L 4 cyl gas and 1.4L turbo diesel engine following shortly after.
Estimated fuel economy is just over 54mpg. Not too shabby, but with oil at $75 a barrel, not sure if it matters.