Toyota shocked auto blogs and jolted the net after confirming that the electric Scion iQ will officially launch in the U.S. come 2012. This all came from a very recent dealer meeting in Sin City, where the Japanese automaker also gave details that the Prius V will hit streets this fall, its Prius C will come in early next year and that the electric RAV4 and its plug-in Prius are all slated to hit dealerships mid 2012.
The Scion iQ has been in pre-production limbo since its debut at the Geneva Motor Show, mostly due because of the massive earthquake that hit Japan early this year that impacted Toyota’s factory. Now that everything’s seems to be up and running, it’s now ready for the iQ to hit the production line.
The electrified mini is supposed to compete with the likes of other electric minis like Nissan’s Leaf, Mitsubishi’s i and even the City electric if Think Global doesn’t go bankrupt as it looks to be headed. However, the Scion iQ is only estimated to get about 50 miles, while the Leaf gets 73 miles; Mitsubishi’s i a whopping 85 miles; and Think Global’s City car with a huge 100 mile range. This sort of gives the iQ a slight disadvantage in terms of miles, but is more than up for the challenge.
What wasn’t unveiled, though, was Scion iQ’s MSRP price when it comes out, which leaves consumers wondering if it’ll be priced along the same range as other electric vehicles or slightly less given it provides a significantly less mileage range.
However, since it’s supposed to appeal to the young, hip and urban consumers, it just might still be a hit given it’s modern stylish cues and rise in popularity of super-small city cars that are environmentally friendly and leave less of a carbon footprint than traditional vehicles thanks to its standard iQ body and lithium-ion battery packs. It’s also smaller than the already miniscule ForTwo. As a two-plus-two passenger car that’s less than 10 feet long, there’s not much room for anything but the essentials.
Right now, the estimated price seems to be around $12,000. It’s based on the Toyota iQ, a micro-mini car that’s already sold in Japan (and has been since 2008).