The bigger, more powerful gasoline engine would add some spunk to the tiny hatch
The news of Toyota's entry into the super-budget market comes from the Japanese Asahi newspaper, reports Automotive News Europe. To be co-developed with Daihatsu and built in Bangalore, India, the car won't make it to market until 2015. Toyota already has one plant in Bangalore, and is building another set to open in 2010.
Tata's car has faced setbacks, however, with the factory having to be relocated for political reasons and the rising costs of materials driving up the car's price. Toyota isn't likely to face exactly the same issues, though fluctuating commodities pricing on essential items like steel and plastic can quickly eat away at the tiny margins found in super-budget microcars.
Renault-Nissan is also among the contenders for the ultra-cheap tiny car market thanks to a cooperative agreement with Bajaj Auto. The Renault-Nissan car will more squarely target the Tata Nano, however, aiming for the same $2,500 price point. The companies hope to have the car to market by 2011.
The Toyota iQ, the company's latest submission to the microcar market, is targeted at more premium audiences in Europe and possible the U.S., with a UK price tag of £9,495 (approximately $16,140) for the entry-level version. Actual U.S. pricing, if the car does come under the Scion brand, will likely be below the $12,000 mark set by the entry-level Yaris.