How do you build a car that is less than three metres long but can seat four people?
That was Toyota designers’ challenge with the Japanese Car of the Year award-winning iQ.
Their solution was to maximize every millimetre of space, which meant keeping the engine bay small and making the front seats slimline.
A new differential design and a centre take-off gear gave the smaller engine bay and reduced the distance between the front of the bumper and the accelerator pedal, which gave more cabin room.
A flat, under-floor fuel tank gained extra space behind the front seats, and a smaller but no less efficient air conditioning unit freed up more legroom ahead of the front seat passenger.
Ultra-slim front seats give rear seat passengers an extra 40mm of knee space. Toyota builds the seats on an all-new frame, with full adjustment of their separate parts to ensure that space isn’t gained at the expense of comfort.