Thursday, July 9, 2009

What does the Toyota IQ have to do with the Heinkel Kabinenroller?

In a recent discussion with an automotive engineer I learned that the Heinkel Kabinenroller was one of the most effective and well engineered "cars" ever produced. First I was a bit astonished, but when you start to think about it you are really impressed about what these engineers achieved, seating 2 or more people in a small vehicle. Heinkel produced a number of different models and some were actually for whole families including luggage despite of the small footprint. They were economical too and fast enough to be able to cover long distances. What would be the today's equivalent for such a car? In my eyes it's the Toyota IQ.
The Toyota IQ has about the size of a Smart car, but still offers four (or three plus one) seats. It's very cleverly packaged having he engine in front. It's not too heavy and is quite economical too. It even looks quite okay. I would order mine in white. Of course you wouldn't want to crash into a SUV and this is part of the problem with small cars. But cars should be built to be driven, not to being crashed in my eyes. Safety is fine, but there's a trade off between safety and economy that shouldn't be understimated.
Let's see how successful the IQ will be, I bet it will be one of the best sellers of Toyota.

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