Thursday, January 7, 2010

Scion iQ available as a hybrid; five-door and sedan bodystyles

Scion iQ Concept - Subcompact Culture

Well isn't this interesting. Inside Line is reporting that the forthcoming Scion iQ, known as the Toyota iQ everywhere else in the world, will be sold in the U.S. as a hybrid. And to top it off, the States will be getting five-door and sedan bodystyles.

Inside Line is also saying the hybrids will come with a 1.5-liter engine/electric motor combination driving the front wheels and producing 100-120 hp. The price? Expected to be around $15,000. The mileage? About 60 MPG.

So does this mean the U.S. won't get the tiny three-door Smart ForTwo fighter pictured above? Inside Line says three door and convertible non-hybrid versions of the iQ will be sold through Scion dealers, as well. These will be powered by 1.3-liter, 93 hp engines.

With Scion sales slumping and the product line rapidly aging, the brand needs to hit a home run with the iQ. Sales of the similarly sized Smart ForTwo have been in the toilet, and the ForTwo has been panned for its no-so-impressive fuel economy, lackluster transmission, and rather high price since the get go. Perhaps the iQ will do all of the things well that the Smart does poorly (including be less expensive). And, with a more diverse model range and seating for more than two people, maybe it will even be a sales success.

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