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City car news from Toyota and Smart

The latest on the Toyota iQ and Smart ForTwo ed

Cubed: the Toyota iQ3

Cubed: the Toyota iQ3 

Toyota iQ gets cubed

Just when you thought the couldn’t get any more expensive, along comes a new range-topping engine.

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The new Toyota iQ3 (iQ ‘cubed’, apparently) introduces the 1.33-litre Dual VVT-i petrol engine, which has already seen action in the Yaris, Auris and . It’s a highly efficient, 98bhp design; complete with stop-start technology as standard, it returns 58.9mpg and emits a low 113g/km CO2.So, road tax is just £35 a year.

Improved performance

You can have a Continuous Variable Transmission Multidrive automatic, which dents the fuel economy and emissions slightly, but costs no more to tax and actually accelerates the iQ3 to 62mph quicker than the standard six-speed manual – 11.6 seconds compared with 11.8.

The real benefit to the new engine is said to be out of town driving, with the extra performance helping the iQ cope better with long distance motorway journeys.

Boosted spec and option packs

Extra kit over the next best iQ2 specification includes 16-inch alloy wheels and chrome door mirrors – plus an increased range of paint finishes. Four option packs are available, offering everything from Bluetooth to a boot spoiler, reversing sensors and even more chrome.

The iQ3 is priced at £11,495 for the manual, £12,495 for Multidrive. That’s £1,000 more than the iQ2, and a large amount of money for such a small car. But judging by the number we’ve seen on the roads the iQ is already popular, and this should only help boost its appeal.

Smart ForTwo ed is electric only

Smart ForTwo ed is electric only

Second-generation Smart ForTwo ed confirmed

In other small car news, Smart has confirmed the electric-only version of its ForTwo city car will be going into small series production.

It’s called the Smart ForTwo electric drive, or ‘ed’, and has recently proved successful in two UK trials. The second generation version will feature the latest Smart ForTwo design, have a longer range, be faster, and quicker to charge. Accelerating from 0-30mph takes 6.5 seconds currently, while top speed is limited to 60mph.

Built-in charger

Unlike other electric plug-in vehicles, the ed carries its charger with it, so it can simply be plugged into any standard three-pin electrical socket whenever it requires more juice. It also features all the crash safety technology of regular Smart ForTwo road cars.

The new Smart ForTwo ed is scheduled to arrive in the UK sometime in 2010, and will join electric vehicle projects both here, throughout Europe and in the USA.

No word on pricing, but if it is offered for private sale, expect the to suddenly look cheap.


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