Toyota's Smart Roadster

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
toyotas smart roadster

From the moment it announced it gray-matter-celebrating name, it was pretty obvious that Toyota was developing its iQ city with one eye fixed firmly on the Smart playbook. So it comes as no surprise to hear that ToMoCo will leverage its “small-but-premium” city car platform with a small roadster version, set to debut at the next Tokyo auto show. Auto Motor und Sport hired veteran Swiss illustrator Mark Stehrenberger to speculate on the iQ Spider’s styling, coming up with a design they say follows in the footsteps of the Suzuki Cappucino and Daihatsu {Cuore} Copen. With only 1.0 and 1.3 liter gas and diesel engines on offer, don’t expect the iQ Spider to offer much more performance than the Smart Roadster or the previously-mentioned Kei-class ragtops. The standard iQ’s generous safety equipment should be found in the Spider as well, which will boast ESP, ABS and more airbags than a Senate quorum. There’s no saying when the Spider should arrive on the market (likely sold as a Scion), but it will be interesting to see if this fares better than the ill-fated Smart Roadster.

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  • Psarhjinian Psarhjinian on Oct 20, 2008

    They already make this: it's called the Daihatsu Copen.

  • Psarhjinian Psarhjinian on Oct 20, 2008
    That is a very important detail. If Toyota comes over with a mid-engine roadster they would have much better chances of competing against the MX-5. Hey, great idea! They could have a mid-engine, rear-drive, two-seat sports car. They could even name it thusly, something like a concatenation of Mid, Rear and Two. It'd sell like hotcakes! Oh, wait..

  • TomAnderson TomAnderson on Oct 21, 2008

    Toyota? Roadster? Fun? thing you'll be telling me Chyrslerberus is trying to get GM into bed! Oh, right...

  • Mirko Reinhardt Mirko Reinhardt on Oct 21, 2008

    @psarhjinian They already make this: it’s called the Daihatsu Copen. The Copen is FWD, so would this be if it was iQ-based. The Smart Roadster is RWD, and [s]one of the best handling cars[/s] the best handling car I have ever driven in my life.