I can still remember the first time I ever encountered an iQ—my immediate thought was “what the hell is this!?” I’m sure many of you are likely thinking the exact same thing as you read this. My experience took place several years ago in Tokyo and the iQ I stumbled upon was wearing its original Toyota guise. That’s right, Toyota has been selling these little buggers in Japan and Europe since the end of 2008. I didn’t think much of it at the time, since many (if not most) of the bizarre super-sub-compact JDM cars never make it to the states.
Fast-forward to November 2011 where I’m standing semi-delirious in the central hall of the Las Vegas Convention center with three iQs staring me in the face. Of course, I’m not at the Toyota booth as these cars are way too quirky for the corporate face that brought you the likes of the Prius. I’m at Toyota’s hipper juvenile delinquent offshoot for the crowd favorite “Scion Tuner Challenge.” Although each example is impressive in its own right, this concept by Evasive Motorsports dubbed the EVS iQ-RS was our favorite.
Rather than playing it safe and throwing a bunch of whiz-kid electronic gizmos at the iQ or making it one of those half-cocked urban lifestyle/action sports/hipster mobiles like many of this year’s SEMA cars, the boys at Evasive did what they do best—a track car. The concept is simple and it doesn’t take a brain surgeon to figure out what the EVS iQ-RS is putting down. Take the iQ and make it less of a little turd and more of a bad-ass machine.
On the outside you’ve likely already noticed the extreme one-off bodywork making the car considerably wider. Kel at Evasive did the bodywork in house including the bubble flares, side skirts, rear diffuser and Voltex-inspired front lip and splitter. Around back a Voltex wing originally destined for a Honda Civic has found its way onto the iQ via custom built wing brackets. Other easily overlooked details like the custom vented hood and Voltex splitter canards help polish off the exterior before it’s wrapped in custom matte-white vinyl from Wraptivo.
Behind the custom red Advan RT wheels you can catch a glimpse of a 11.2" floating-rotor big brake upgrade constructed with Wilwood components. With six-piston clappers in the front and four-pistons in the rear any braking deficiencies are now sorted. Finishing up the footwork is a set of Air Runner suspension. Now we know what you’re thinking, “air suspension on a track car!?” But since the Tuner Challenge cars are constantly loaded and unloaded from vehicle haulers, air suspension is a requirement in Scion’s build parameters.
Under the hood everything is kept fairly simple. In road racing, engine reliability is more important than outright power so Evasive addressed cooling needs first. Filling the massive void in the front bumper is a custom full-length Koyo aluminum racing radiator. Keeping it company are custom oil and transmission fluid coolers plumbed with Earl’s fittings and stainless braided lines. To help power output, a custom intake was fabricated using cut and welded sections of piping and a carbon airbox with a heat shield were also utilized; they finished the power upgrades with a free-flowing exhaust featuring dual burnt titanium turndown tips.
Inside the cockpit the iQ-RS is all business. After stripping the car bare a 6-point rollcage was welded in and then the whole chassis was coated in a grey race epoxy. The door panels, center console and dash inserts have all been replaced with custom carbon-fiber pieces. A host of gauges from Stack and Defi keep all of the vitals in the driver’s line of vision and the 11" touch screen has be reconfigured to display more data when needed. Sparco has graciously finished off the interior necessities with their steering wheel, pedals, seats and harnesses.
With aggressive looks like these we could even see ourselves driving one of these chicken-nugget shaped cars. Just because the iQ is small doesn’t mean it can’t be a performer, and if anything, with its low curb weight and super short wheelbase it can be a dangerous weapon in autocross. While this car is only a concept and won’t likely hit the track any time soon, it’s refreshing to see a new spin on the sub compact market.