If you’ve turned on your TV, logged onto the Internet, or picked up a newspaper in the past week, chances are you’re at least generally aware of what’s currently happening with Volkswagen. But if you’ve been living under a rock, here’s a summary: Volkswagen made an amazingly efficient, clean diesel engine…that ended up not being so clean. By using a defeat device, VW’s 2.0-liter diesel engine was able to pass the EPA’s emissions tests while actually polluting at a rate of up to 40 times the tested numbers. The audacity of the transgression is shocking enough, but now that the investigation has begun to expand beyond VW’s 2.0-liter TDI 4-cylinder, the entire future of diesel-powered cars may be in question.
“Where’s the rest of it?”
“Where do you park that thing, on your pool table at home?”
“Hey man, isn’t that Barbie’s car?”
Drive in a Scion iQ and you can be sure you’ll hear jokes like these multiple times per day, each comedian thinking he is the only one to ever loft such creative barbs at the diminutive car and its embarrassed driver.
Yes, the iQ is incredibly small. It actually would fit on a pool table. Barbie though, could never drive it because inside, everything is full-size. The windshield, seats and side windows might as well be from a Corolla, which makes driving the iQ seem like a perfectly respectable thing to do. It *feels* normal. But it’s not.
There are three transformed Scion iQ city cars at SEMA, each interesting, but the one that caught my attention is the iQ RX version, above, by Jon Sibal. The pumped-up and pimped-out cars that typify SEMA are frequently joke material, but Sibal’s car is beautiful, I think.
Details are here and include an engine fitted with a Nitrous Express injection kit. How’s that for improving fuel economy? It’s also got “an Xbox 360 game console, 32-inch Samsung LED TV and an Apple iPad2.” I know, I know.
Michael Chang’s iQ-RS, more straightforward in design, is strictly for racing and is fitted out with all the goodies you’d expect. More pix after the break.
Why are these guys modifying the iQ? Because it is coming to Scion stores soon and is arguably the best of the small city cars, or micro-subcompacts. It’s not like driving a go-kart, but the iQ is very different from most larger cars in being nimble, sporty, eminently parkable and stable—especially compared to the Smart fortwo.