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Toyota pimps the iQ


October 29, 2011

Cars are getting smaller, so this is definitely a view of the future of car pimping.

Cars are getting smaller, so this is definitely a view of the future of car pimping.

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The annual SEMA show is a place where the mechanically remarkable is average, the unexpected isn't and where you'll find look-at-me engineering solutions well beyond the preposterous. Hence Toyota's decision to focus its SEMA display around tuning and pimping its iQ luxury city car was always going to create interest.

Three iQs have been created for the show's Tuner Challenge, with a fourth custom special displaying a radical chop-top look. Cars are getting smaller, so this is definitely a view of the future.

The three well-known tuners to get a call from Toyota for the show Michael Chang, Jon Sibal and Tatsu, and each has worked their magic on the Toyota/Lexus/Yaris iQ.

Chang has given the car a full motorsport treatment and dubbed it the iQ-RS.

It features a carbon fibre body kit, Air Runner suspension, Sparco race seats and Advan Racing wheels.

Sibal's iQ RX runs a Veilside body kit finished with a matte metallic grey and bronze pearl paint finish.

The engine has extra punch thanks to a Nitrous Express injection kit, and the wheels are 18-inch three-piece forged HRE rims. Again, Air Runner suspension sits the car close to the ground.

Tatsu's iQ-MR has come in for an engine-relocation so it can drive the rear wheels. The engine has been beefed by Mavrik Motorsports.

The bodywork has been customized with new panels from Speciality Cars and 16-inch Sakura wheels from Axis are fitted.

Undoubtedly the favorite of the crowds will be the Pit Boss Cartel iQ, which has had the roof removed and the car's purpose redesignated to being a pit gopher vehicle. Cartel has reduced the size of the doors and fitted heavy-duty metal interior panels and carbon fiber seats and trims.

More radical still, this iQ can be controlled by iPad and serves as a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot and power charging station.

The SEMA show opens at the Las Vegas Convention Center next week.


I would much prefer that greater strss be given to aerodynamics and raising of the mpg for Toyota cars. I have an Echo to which I added a front horizontal air divider made of clear plastic from large plastic containers, fuel fins (from the internet) and drilled holes in the back bumper (to reduce suction). These simple modifications allow me about 50 mpg.

Adrian Akau

I have to agree with 1st poster. So much more could be done to improve mileage like same car in Europe. I know as Americans we shoot ourselves in the foot when it comes to mileage somewhat because of smog controls. Why can't more research be done to improve that area so it doesn't handicap our mileage so much. And as Mr Akau says, if more attention was paid to lightness and aerodynamics, mileage would improve there too! Enough with this custom "Ga Ga" flashy stuff!!

Will, the tink
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