Normally in a car this small there are trade-offs: what you gain by being compact, you sacrifice in interior space and impact safety.
But we decided to take a radical new approach with i.
We developed a rear-midship layout and put the engine forward of the rear axle. Then we placed large 15-inch wheels far into in each corner and designed the vehicle with a distinctive egg-shape. The upshot was greater stability, which made it safer, and more interior space. Then we focussed on the powertrain. We developed an all-new aluminum block DOHC MIVEC intercooled turbo engine that delivered a great performance and low fuel consumption. It launched in January 2006, and won several awards, including the Japanese Good Design Grand Prix 2006-2007.