Cars of the future on display

Music blared and lights blinked as the pint-sized car descended from the ceiling. A platform lowered it to the ground and photographers rushed to snap pictures.

Stefan Jacoby

NEW YORK — Music blared and lights blinked as the pint-sized car descended from the ceiling. A platform lowered it to the ground and photographers rushed to snap pictures.

This was how the Toyota showed off its latest, tiniest car — the iQ — at the New York International Auto Show. The message from the Japanese automaker was clear: This is the car of tomorrow.

But is it?

Small cars and hybrids surged in popularity last summer as gasoline prices blew past US$4 a gallon in the United States. Compacts and subcompacts — including cars like the Toyota Yaris and Ford Focus — surged to more than a quarter of new vehicle sales in June and July, suggests auto website

But as the economy sputtered and gas prices collapsed, small cars lost ground to trucks and sport utility vehicles. Compacts and subcompacts last month commanded about 20 per cent of the new car market, stated Edmunds.

Small car still took centre stage at the New York auto show, which opens to the public on Friday after two days of media previews. Automakers unveiled their fair share of sedans and crossovers, but much of the attention was on cars like the iQ, the Fiat 500 and the Volkswagen Golf VI, which won the show’s top award.

“It is the time for small cars,” said Stefan Jacoby, chief executive Volkswagen of America.

One of Toyota Motor Corp.’s main attractions is the iQ, a tiny model that has room for three adults and is on sale in Europe and Japan.

Toyota, which is displaying the car with a Scion badge in New York, is still weighing a U.S. release date.

The Golf VI took the show’s World Car of the Year award. The car is on sale only in Europe, but it is similar to the Volkswagen Rabbit compact car in the United States.

Its competition for the prize? The Ford Fiesta small car and the iQ.

Just Posted

Legalizing cannabis cost estimate for Red Deer just under $400k

Although the province of Alberta has announced $11.2 million for cannabis legalization,… Continue reading

WATCH: Every square tells a story: Edmonton expert is exploring Red Deer’s quilting history

Community members can bring in family heirloom quilts for documentation

Red Deer-area dads going through divorce are invited to Man Up

Support group formed to focus on positive activities, networking

WATCH: Two weeks away from Canadian Finals Rodeo in Red Deer

In just two weeks, Ponoka’s Shayna Weir will compete with the best… Continue reading

PHOTO: Say goodbye to City Hall Park flowers

A sure sign that winter is on its way is when City… Continue reading

PHOTO: Chew On This! campaign draws attention to national poverty

Lunch bags were being handed out in front of The Hub downtown… Continue reading

Wickenheiser, Pegula reflect NHL’s trend toward diversity

BUFFALO, N.Y. — With a laugh, Kim Pegula’s competitive nature kicked in… Continue reading

Harry and Meghan bring rain to drought-stricken Outback town

DUBBO, Australia — The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were jokingly thanked… Continue reading

TV Review: A Roseanne Barr-less ‘The Conners’ is a triumph

NEW YORK — Can there be a “Roseanne” without Roseanne? The answer… Continue reading

Canadian manufacturing sales fell 0.4 per cent in August: Statistics Canada

OTTAWA — Statistics Canada says manufacturing sales fell 0.4 per cent to… Continue reading

Brian Mulroney joins board of directors of New York-based pot company

NEW YORK — Former prime minister Brian Mulroney is joining the board… Continue reading

Canadians waking up to legalized cannabis: ‘My new dealer is the prime minister’

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Canadians across the country woke up to legalized… Continue reading

Most Read