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 Edmunds.com.

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

Fredericton police release scene of shooting spree, but ‘damage’ remains

FREDERICTON — Police have released the Fredericton apartment complex that was the… Continue reading

Weed’s want ads longer, marijuana job searches up as industry grows: study

OTTAWA — The growth of Canada’s soon-to-be-legal recreational pot industry is starting… Continue reading

Google Generation’s push for more technology transforming health care: survey

TORONTO — Digitally savvy Canadians who make up the Google Generation are… Continue reading

UPDATED: Officials tour Hwy 2/Gaetz Avenue interchange

Deputy Premier Sarah Hoffman and local MLAs visit construction site

Bike thefts becoming ‘significant problem’ in Red Deer

Residents are sounding the alarm on the growing problem of bike theft… Continue reading

WATCH: A horse was neglected by its owner. Now the horse is suing

ESTACADA, Ore. - Justice is an 8-year-old American quarter horse who used… Continue reading

Red Sox old-timer’s memorabilia going up for sale

BIDDEFORD, Maine — Some items belonging to one of the Boston Red… Continue reading

Rival Korea leaders to meet in Pyongyang in September

SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of — The rival Koreas announced Monday that North… Continue reading

Charlottesville anniversary: Peaceful protests, few arrests

WASHINGTON — Thousands of people wanting to send a message that racism… Continue reading

‘I believe music heals people’: 12-year-old records tribute for shooting victims

YARMOUTH, N.S. — Twelve-year-old Josh Cochrane of Yarmouth, N.S., watched the news… Continue reading

Fallen officers’ families gather with Justin Trudeau after tragedy

The prime minister laid flowers at the growing memorial to the four victims of Friday’s violence

Fallen officers’ families gather with prime minister after tragedy

FREDERICTON — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with families of fallen Fredericton… Continue reading

Liberals showcase benefits of billions spent on infrastructure projects

OTTAWA — Little more than a year before the next federal election,… Continue reading

Fredericton parade ‘a way to celebrate even in the midst of this grief’: mayor

FREDERICTON — Two days after four people were gunned down in a… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month