Tony O'Kane | Jan 23, 2009

Word on the street is that Toyota USA is mulling over the possibility of offering the petite iQ micro car to American motorists - a car that's pretty much the antithesis of your typical full-fat Yankee automobile.

At just 2985mm long the iQ is tiny. When placed side-by-side with a 'traditional' American pick-up truck like, say, the Ford Super Duty, the iQ is practically sub-atomic.

But changing market forces may make the iQ a more attractive proposition to American drivers, particularly those hit by the country's financial misfortunes or simply seeking a smaller vehicle for the petrol and ownership cost-savings.

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Toyota's senior vice president of US operations Don Esmond was also confident that the iQ would be just the vehicle to appeal to Americans moving out of the suburbs and closer to city centres.

"The Toyota IQ micro car being sold in Japan and Europe is another example of a world platform that we may to adapt to the US market," Mr Esmond said. "The IQ can figure into Toyota's response to another world mega-trend - urbanisation."

Smaller, cheaper and more frugal cars are certainly just the thing for a country in the midst of an economic recession, but will Americans warm to a car whose footprint is only marginally larger than that of a single bed? We'll have to wait and see.

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