Toyota Officially Closes The Doors On Scion
Some 13 years ago, Toyota launched a new sub-brand that promised to attract a wave of new customers with chic and quirky vehicles. 13 years and almost 1.2 million vehicles sold later, that same sub-brand has officially made its curtain call, never to be heard from again. That brand is Scion, Toyota’s oft overlooked lineup that lived up to some of its promise, even if it never reached the heights that its parent firm thought it could get to.
Scion’s closure doesn’t come as a surprise because it didn’t really move the sales needle for Toyota. It had its share of moments, but ultimately, it was also besieged by reliability issues that added to its vulnerability to the unpredictable nature of the industry. It didn’t help Scion’s cause that Toyota began to reinvent itself to cater to a younger market and that push from the mothership rendered the "youth brand" redundant to the automaker’s overarching objectives.
And so, Scion has officially ceased to exist. The good news for fans of the brand is that some of its models will be absorbed by Toyota. Included in this list are the FR-S, which will be rebadged as the U.S.-spec Toyota 86, as well as the iA sedan, and iM hatchback.
The iA and iM models, in particular, have been rebadged as the Yaris iA and Corolla iM, respectively. Meanwhile, other models like the tC sports coupe are now gone. In fact, the tC ended production two months earlier in August with the release of the limited-run tC Release Series 10.0, Servicing and repairs for existing Scion models are also being done by Toyota now.
Continue after the jump to read the full story.
2016 New York International Auto Show – Worst In Show
Meeting the high standards of a major international auto show is not easy. It takes creativity, an appropriately sized budget, and no small measure of polish. When it all comes together, the result is a beautiful thing to behold. A single model can shed light on an entire brand, sparking passion and lust in every corner of the automotive universe. We’ll cover those drool-makers in an upcoming Best In Show piece, but this article hits the other side of the spectrum – the monotonous, the poorly conceived, and the yawn-worthy.
This time around, our list of Worst In Show has a theme – special editions that aren’t that special. The 2016 New York International Auto Show was chock full of ‘em this year, so we collected some of the worst offenders for a little collective disdain.
Continue after the jump to read the full story.
2017 Scion tC Release Series 10.0
It’s only been a little over a month since we news broke that the Scion brand would be no more, and now, Scion is set to make one final appearance in the place where it debuted the first Scion model – the New York Auto Show. Scion is looking to use the show has a final farewell and will display a number of models from the last 14 years, including the 2002 BBx Concept, 2004 FiveAxis speedster xA, 2009 Kogi BBQ Truck xD, 2009 iQ Concept, 2011 FR-S concept, and the 2014 Slayer tC. That isn’t all Scion is bringing to its last Auto Show, though.
Meet the Scion tC Release Series 10.0, a model that was designed in partnership with Kei Miura. As a final farewell, this special tC is equipped with a number of performance and visual enhancements that is said to make it the best production tC ever built. Scion Vice President Andrew Gilleland said, “For those enthusiasts looking for a piece of history, this is a great opportunity to own our best tC ever. With the TRD performance parts, the JDM Aero Kit and the screaming red and black color scheme, it’s a fitting tribute to Scion’s mission to build cars for younger customers.” He continued, “We have a lot of fans that are sorry to see Scion being transitioned to Toyota. But it’s the right thing to do, and we know the spirit of Scion will live on, so we are going out in style.”
Scion is a youth-oriented brand, and aside from a couple of good years, it has struggled with sales pretty hard over its lifetime. There may be fans out there, but as unfortunate as it is for the brand, there weren’t enough fans to keep it alive. With that said, let’s take a look at Scions final model and see what Scion and Kei Miura did to leave a lasting impression on the world.
Continue reading to learn more about the Scion tC Release Series 10.0.
Toyota Drops Scion Brand, Models To Be Rebadged As Toyotas
Toyota has just announced that it will be absorbing Scion and its entire lineup in a move that signals the end of Scion as a stand-alone brand. The announcement ends the speculation surrounding the fate of Scion, which included rumors of the brand’s death. Apparently, that’s not the case, at least in Toyota’s view. Sure, the Scion name will cease to exist, but its models will be re-badged as Toyotas as part of a brand transition that’s set to begin in August 2016.
No longer will these models be badged as Scions. Instead, they’ll begin to carry the Toyota badge, including the FR-S sports car, the Mazda2-based iA sedan, and the Toyota Auris-based iM five-door hatchback. Even the production of the C-HR, which made its debut at the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show, will continue on as scheduled, though now badged as a Toyota. The only Scion model that will be dropped is the tC sports coupe, which will have a “final release series edition” before riding off into the sunset when its Scion brethren moves to the mothership.
Part of this transition includes absorbing the brand’s 22 dedicated team members, who represent sales, marketing, distribution, strategy, and product and accessories planning. According to Toyota, they’ll be offered new jobs at Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. in Torrance, California. The same goes for Scion’s regional representatives. Instead of letting them go, they’ll assume new positions in their respective Toyota services. Likewise, Scion customers will also continue to have a dedicated service and repair process in Toyota dealerships’ service departments.
In some ways, it’s a smart business move for Toyota because Scion, as its own brand, never really gained any form of significant traction with its youth-oriented approach. It had some moments, including selling 175,000 units in 2006, but for the most part, poor sales became the thing that was associated with the brand. It even came to the point wherein the brand sold only 56,167 cars in 2015, less than the number of Toyota Avalons that were sold in the same period.
If anything, Toyota wasn’t short in giving the brand some attention because it made every effort to infuse it with models it could succeed with. None was more evident than the FR-S, which Toyota sold in the U.S. as an exclusive model, leaving the Toyota GT-86 in other markets. But, even that couldn’t get Scion out of its doldrums, so the decision was made to drop the Scion band entirely.
Continue after the jump to read the full story.
Scion’s vice president Andrew Gilleland says, “Scion is known for doing things differently, and maybe even being a little weird." The brand’s crossover concept, unveiled at the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show, is a perfect illustration of this philosophy. The Scion C-HR is a wild and stylish vehicle, communicating equal parts capability and performance. And here’s the twist: this funky little vehicle isn’t a sports coupe, it’s a crossover.
You may have seen the C-HR before. This car started life as a design concept, and was shown as the Toyota C-HR "design study" in 2014 at the Paris Motor Show. It also surfaced in Frankfurt and was discussed at the Tokyo Motor Show. The C-HR has had a few refinements since then and now it’s resurfaced with the green light to become Scion’s first crossover, and sooner than the wild sheetmetal might have you believe.
The brand has gone back and forth on whether it will produce a crossover, with public statements both positive and negative over the past six months. The speculation’s over now: the C-HR is going into production in 2016 and Scion may show off the final version as early as the 2016 Geneva Motor Show in March. The radical styling and compact all-wheel drive platform will put it into competition with the Nissan Juke, Honda HR-V, Mazda CX-3 and Mitsubishi Outlander Sport, among others.
Updated 11/20/2015: We added a series of new images taken during the concept’s official unveiling at the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2015 Scion C-HR Concept.
Scion has teamed up with Toyo Tires to bring four customized vehicles to the SEMA show that runs from November 3rd to November 6th. There will be four vehicles presented from Scion, one of which is presented by Scion-lifestyle partner Skybound Entertainment.
Skybound Entertainment has made an evil twin of the standard 2016 Scion iA, and it is based on Robert Kirkman’s latest comic book, Outcast. The car, which goes by the name “Outcast” was designed to move and operate on its own, while displaying sequenced light and audio effects. The roof of the car can gyrate, smoke and even change colors while emitting spooky sounds that give the impression that the car is demonically possessed.
The car was built by 5 Axis – a concept vehicle design and fabrication studio, and its modification was managed by Project Leader Geoff Curtis. So, know that you know the basics of the car, click past the jump to get all the details.
Continue reading to learn more about the Scion iA By Skybound Entertainment.
With a revised version of the Toyota GT 86 / Scion FR-S rumored to arrive in 2016, the Japanese coupe might finally get the more powerful drivetrain it deserves. Meanwhile, Scion has released yet another "all show and no go" version of the FR-S that gets all sorts of goodies and gadgets but the same 200-horsepower engine.
Meet the FR-S Release Series 2.0, described as "the most stylish version of the sports car ever offered."
If the name sounds familiar is because Scion has already launched a Release Series version of the FR-S. It made its official debut at the 2014 New York Auto Show with a mild aerodynamic kit, a TRD quad exhaust system, a lowered suspension, HID headlamps, and black seats with a "T" pattern. Only 1,500 units were built.
The Release Series 2.0 is pretty much the same thing, sans the TRD exhaust but with a more luxurious cabin. "The FR-S is well known for being a fabulous sports car, and now we’re taking it up a notch in the luxury arena,” said Scion Vice President Andrew Gilleland. “It’s the perfect car to take from the race track during the day to the red carpet that evening.”
So, what’s it all about and how much does it cost? Keep reading to find out.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2016 Scion FR-S Release Series 2.0.
If you’re familiar with ABC’s TV series Fresh off the boat, then you know something about Eddie Huang. The TV series depicts Eddie’s life in the early 90’s as he grew up in the suburbs of Orlando. Outside the TV show, which was adapted from his book, Eddie Huang was a lawyer who eventually became a chef and now runs BaoHaus restaurant in New York City. Now, Eddie, who is a Scion lifestyle partner, has designed his own 2016 Scion iA that is said to embrace the culture of Los Angeles and have a modern take on the classic lowrider.
Eddie’s custom iA will debut on November 3rd in Las Vegas at SEMA, but we’ve already been blessed with a number of pictures that give us a great preview of what we’ll see in the metal. Eddie went all out on this bad boy, with the help of Scott Kanemura at KMA industries who completed the build. For starters, the car has all the basics of a low rider – Airbag suspension with four-wheel control, swivel front seats and even a chain-link steering wheel. Of course, no low rider would be complete without the gold, wire wheels but that is just the beginning for this Scion.
Now it’s time we take a deeper look into what Eddie envisions as a modern day low rider, so keep reading to see everything that makes this one-of-a-kind Scion so special.
Continue reading to learn more about the Scion iA Eddie Huang.
It’s been a really long time since the Scion xB made any headlines. Last time it happened it was when the company showcased the Riley Hawk Skate Tour, an xB that pays homage to America’s 1970s van culture, at the 2014 SEMA Show. Before that, Scion launched a rather dull xB Release Series 10.0 at the 2014 New York Auto Show. Come 2015 and the boxy compact gained nothing new except for a standard backup camera.
But arguably the biggest news about the xB is that Toyota decided to pull the plug on the 12-year-old wagon at the end of 2015. Not exactly surprising given xB sales fell for the third consecutive year in 2014, hitting an all-time low since its launch in 2003. Once Scion’s most popular model in the U.S., the xB sold roughly 16,600 units last year (down from more than 60,000 examples in 2006).
I can definitely see why Scion wants to axe the wagon, but it turns out the xB will get a nice send-off with yet another special-edition model. Dubbed 686 Parklan Edition, the limited-edition compact is the result of Scion’s cooperation with 686, a snowboarding and technical winter apparel company, and aimed at buyers seeking "a unique combination of fashion and function." Keep reading to find out what that means.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2016 Scion xB 686 Parklan Edition.
The 2013-2015 Scion FR-S is exactly the sort of car gearheads crave. It’s a front-engine, rear-wheel-drive, 2+2 coupe with a manual transmission and an affordable price tag. Really, there’s nothing not to love with that combination. In 2012, when the FR-S and its corporate cousin, the Subaru BRZ came to market, we were overjoyed.
Many initial opinions of the cars suggested the 200-horsepower four-cylinder was underpowered, though with only 2,758 pounds to move and 13.79 pounds for each horsepower, its weight to power ratio bests the 2014-2015 Ford Fiesta ST and 2016 Hyundai Veloster Turbo R-Spec, at 13.8 and 13.93 pounds per horsepower, respectively. You hardly hear folks complain about those two being underpowered. Heck, it even bests the 2013-2015 Mazda MX-5 Miata’s 14.85 weight to power ratio. Sure, there are other variables to how powerful a car feels, like drive ratios and transmission gearing, but these stats still speak volumes.
Arguments aside, the FR-S has the spec sheet of a purpose-built sports car. Its engine is just a few millimeters forward of being a front mid-ship design and its weight distribution is only three percent from perfectly balanced. Heavily bolstered seats, good visibility, a manual transmission and parking brake, and an appetite for revs from its 2.0-liter flat-four gives the FR-S plenty of credibility.
To put its creds to the test, I spent a week with a 2015 FR-S fitted with three pedals. This isn’t my first time in an FR-S, but my last tester came with the kill-joy automatic. Thankfully my suspicions about the manual transmission curing all my reservations with the automatic FR-S were true. This car was made to row your own.
Continue reading for the full review.
When Toyota founded the Scion brand in the U.S. in 2002, it promised affordable vehicles and short product cycles that would appeal to Millennials. But while Scion cars continue to be among the most affordable in North America, product cycles weren’t exactly as promised until 2015, when the Japanese launched two new cars, the 2016 Scion iA and the 2016 Scion iM. For 2016, Scion decided that the tC also needs an update.
There’s good news and bad news here. The good side of the story is that this new update comes only two years since the second-generation tC received its facelift. This can only mean Scion is concerned about keeping its product fresh, an example many automakers should follow. The not not-so-thrilling part is that the 2016 tC is identical to last year’s model on the outside.
The interior is where Scion added some new features, mostly in the convenience department. And it did so while increasing the car’s starting price only slightly, meaning the tC can still brag about its "thrill-to-value" appeal. Find out more about that in the review below.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2016 Scion tC.
The Scion brand was created to appeal to the younger population. Instead of spending money on R&D, however, Scion had a bad habit of bringing about badge-engineered to Scion dealerships. For 2016, the brand was hoping to create more interest in the brand by debuting two new models – the Scion iA and the Scion iM. The Scion iM was a compact hatchback that was derived from the Toyota Corolla Wagon, or Auris, as the rest of the world knows it. Targeted at youth throughout North America, the iM was available with the 1.8-liter, four-cylinder from the Toyota Corolla Eco. It put out 137 horsepower and was able to attain 37 mpg on the highway. Outside it had fairly stylish looks and a pretty sporty front fascia. Mild body lines gave the car a sleek appearance. Inside the car had a pretty upscale cabin for a car that commanded less than $20,000, featuring dual zone climate control, a seven-inch infotainment system and other little technological and safety goodies.
Just like the iA, Scion was hoping the iM would generate some more cash flow and breathe new life into a company that was quite literally on its last leg. As you probably already know at this point, however, these new models didn’t come soon enough to save the company and the Scion brand has now been discontinued. So, for the 2017 model year, you’ll find the iM marketed under the Toyota brand as the Corolla iM. With that said, it’s time to take a look at our full review of the iM before we start seeing it with a Toyota badge plastered to the back of it. The iM is currently going for just more than $18,000 but expect that pricing to increase a little bit under the Toyota name.
Updated 06/29/2015: The new Scion iM will arrive at U.S. dealers on September 1st, 2015. Prices will start from $18,460 for the manual transmission and $19,200 for the CVTi-S model. Prices do not include $795 delivery, processing and handling fee. Also, check our first drive review here.
Continue reading to learn more about the iM.
The Scion IA was essentially a rebadged version of the Mazda2 and was even built alongside it at Mazda’s plant in Mexico. It was new for the 2016 model year and made its debut at the 2015 New York Auto Show. Compared to the Mazda 2, the front end had a different design and the front grille was different, but that was about the extent of it. Inside, the IA is pretty much a direct carryover from the Mazda2. It did feature some premium features like a center display screen and a fairly upscale look for a compact vehicle. The Scion IA may look like a compact sports sedan, but under the hood, there’s nothing to write home about. The car was offered with a 1.5-liter four-cylinder that delivers just 106 horsepower and a combined fuel economy of 37 mpg. With a six-speed manual transmission, the IA was priced at $15,700 while those equipped with an automatic transmission were priced at $16,800.
The IA, along with the Scion IM was originally intended to breathe some new life into the struggling Scion brand. Unfortunately, it was too little too late, and the Scion brand has since been discontinued. The IA will carry on, however, as the Toyota Yaris IA starting in August of 2016 for 2017. Despite switching over to the Toyota branding, the IA will carry on as a competitor for the Kia Rio and the Nissan Versa, among others, but whether or not the IA will indeed be the hit Scion expected it to be has yet to be seen. With that said, take a look at our full review below to see the car that could have potentially saved the Scion brand had it come to the market sooner than it did.
Updated 06/29/2015: Scion announced that the all-new 2016 iA will arrive at dealerships on September 1st. The model will be priced from $15,700 for the six-speed manual transmission version and $16,800 for the six-speed automatic. Prices do not include $795 delivery, processing and handling fee. Also, check our first drive review here.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2016 Scion iA sedan.
Scion has made a name for itself by making funky, youth-oriented cars and hatchbacks sold at reasonable prices. That recipe hasn’t changed with the new 2016 Scion iM, but the ingredients have most definitely gone premium. I recently found myself at the national press launch of both the iM and its brother, the iA sedan, where I got to spend plenty of time tossing each car through the Malibu canyons along the California coast. One thing became glaringly apparent: it’s all about the content.
Sure, Scion has always sold its vehicles in “mono-spec” trims, with each model offering the same content besides color and transmission choices, but the new iM ups the ante with features and equipment coming standard that are normally optional extras – even on some entry-level luxury nameplates.
The iM boasts an impressive number of airbags and other safety features, Bluetooth within is standard 7-inch infotainment display, an engine that gets 37 mpg on the highway, and 17-inch wheels that look like they belong on a Lexus. And that’s just the surface.
Beyond content, the iM rides on some impressive underpinnings that make it as fun to drive as it is practical. Independent suspension at all four corners with stiff sway bars keeps things level and tight without killing the ride, and relatively wide 225-series tires hold the road with surprising tenacity. And don’t forget, the iM comes standard with a six-speed manual transmission.
Of course price is a huge factor for Scion and its customer base. Well for $18,460, the iM’s base price backs up the inexpensive Scion promise. For those who don’t want to row their own, a CVT is optional, with its base price starting at $19,200. Not bad for a hatchback than can haul five people or the entire contents of a college dorm room while not getting less than 30 mpg.
Continue reading for the full driven review
Scion is taking full advantage of Toyota’s global reach and its relations with Mazda. The iM hatchback is Scion’s version of the Corolla hatch, or as it’s officially known, the Auris. What’s more, the iA sedan is Scion’s version of the upcoming 2015 Mazda2 Sedan. Both the iM and iA benefit from their respective namesakes’ characteristics. For the iA, that means Mazda-like driving prowess and an efficient yet powerful SkyActiv powertrain.
Those benefits were clearly evident in the iA at Scion’s national launch for both cars. The twisty canyon roads in the eastern section of Malibu, California proved the perfected place to size up the Scion-ified Mazda.
Now the iA won’t directly compete with anything Mazda is offering because Mazda won’t bring is sedan version of the 2 – only the hatchback. Conversely, Scion won’t offer a hatchback version of the iA. In reality, the iM hatchback serves that role and keeps the two automakers from robbing sales from each other. It’s a nice partnership that should benefit both greatly.
Mazda’s benefit is Toyota’s half ownership of the Salamanca plant in Mexico where both the iA and Mazda2 are built. Cost sharing and platform stretching are good for the bottom line. But how does all this affect the iA as Scion’s first sedan? Are the cost-cutting measures a bad thing? Keep reading to find out.
Continue reading for the full driven review
Scion will once again return to the Colorado mountains to make a run up to 14,110 feet in this year’s Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, marking the fifth consecutive year the brand has sought to tackle the intimidating event.
The effort is a collaboration between SoCal-based speed shop and aftermarket-parts provider Evasive Motorsports, Japanese tuner GReddy Performance, and North American wheel-importer Mackin Industries, all of which will support a specially modified FR-S coupe race car in its bid to conquer the winding summit road. Other major sponsors include Scion Racing, Toyo Tires, Turn14 Distribution, Garrett and Sparco.
Piloting the lightweight two-door will be American time attack-driver Robert Walker, who will make his third attempt at the Peak this year. Walker’s previous runs include time behind the wheel of the 2013 Scion FR-S Evasive Motorsports Time Attack car, which debuted at the 2012 SEMA show and has seen competition in national and international time-attack events (you can check out HD in-car footage of last year’s run in the above video, which shows Walker’s 10-minute, 37.791-second blast up the hill in the Evasive Motorsports FR-S, a 22-second improvement over 2013).
Walker says that knowledge of the course gained from past runs is critical to success at Pikes Peak, given the dearth of practice available prior to the actual event: “We only drive the road at speed in its entirety once each year – on race day,” Walker said. “That can be intimidating to any driver. I’m counting on the experience the team and I have gained to give me a heads-up in the competition.”
Scion says its goal is to improve upon last year’s results, when superstar drift-fiend Ken Gushi took an FR-S to a third best-in-class finish.
Continue reading for the full story.
Scion has invited me to be one of the first journalists to drive its newest models in the sunny state of California. Both the 2016 Scion iA and 2016 Scion iM are new to the brand in the U.S. for 2016, though both the iA sedan and iM hatchback are rebadged versions of other cars sold around the world. Regardless, the two new models add some much-needed life to Toyota’s youth-oriented brand.
So now is your chance to ask questions about both cars in the comment section down below. You ask, I respond: it’s that simple. I’ll have the questions ready to ask Toyota engineers and designers at next week’s launch.
Though some info will be embargoed until Monday, June 29, I can give answers to technical questions before then. Those will largely be answered in the comment section. After the Embargo is lifted, you’ll have the chance to read my full review on both cars with all your questions answered, including driving impressions.
Remember, both the iA and iM are new to Scion, but have been in production as other cars. The iA sedan is a reworked 2015 Mazda2 Sedan – meaning it has some big shoes to fill with regards to driving dynamics. The iM, on the other hand, is known as the 2015 Toyota Auris in many parts of the world, and is basically a hatchback version of the 2014 Toyota Corolla. The iM’s platform also underpins the 2015 Lexus CT200h.
These new vehicles are expected to revitalize the Scion brand, so there’s a lot riding on them. Don’t hesitate to ask hard questions!
Toyota is gearing up to give the Scion FR-S a mid-cycle refresh next year, and rumors have it the car will come with brand new styling updates, improved suspension components, and, much to the chagrin of enthusiasts everywhere, a ridiculously modest power increase.
Citing an unidentified company insider, Aussie publication Motoring says the 2.0-liter flat-four powerplant will receive just minor mechanical improvements: "Engineers have focused on friction reduction engineering and a more efficient intake manifold design that will boost power and torque by around five percent, while improving fuel efficiency by up to seven percent," the source is quoted.
That means the Subaru-derived boxer engine will get nudged up to 210 horsepower from its original 200 horsepower. Not much, but certainly a step in the right direction. I guess.
Aesthetically, the car’s exterior will get a new front end consisting of a restyled hood, headlights, bumper and enlarged lower grille. In the back will be a new bumper, diffuser, and twin exhaust outlets that are moved further toward the corners of the car.
And while few have complained about the FR-S’ handling capabilities, Motoring’s insider says the new car will come with “extensive chassis tuning feedback” from GRMN (Gazoo Racing tuned by Meister of Nurburgring), Toyota’s motorsports partner and in-house go-faster division. New Sachs dampers are expected to make the list of standard equipment, improving ride quality while maintaining the car’s highly praised cornering balance. The rear suspension subframe will also get reinforced for a stiffer tail.
Continue reading for the full story.
Toyota has filed a trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to obtain protection for the name Scion iR. The April 23 filing describes an automobile that “seats four or more passengers and is lawful for use on U.S., Puerto Rican, or Canadian interstate highways.”
The loose description of the iR from the filing is the only information known about the upcoming Scion, but it’s not hard to imagine what Scion has planned. It’s possible Scion is replacing the xD, the tallish, slab-sided hatchback whose production ended in 2014.
Slumping sales are plaguing Scion, with the first quarter of 2015 showing a 17.1 percent drop. Both the iQ and sadly, the FR-S, are responsible for much of the slow sales, with the FR-S down 28.6 percent over last year.
But hope is on the horizon. The iR will eventually join the upcoming Scion iA and iM sedan and hatchback slated to enter production for the 2016 model year. The pair will arrive just in time, hopefully expanding Toyota’s youth brand’s market reach and customer base.
The iA mark’s Scion’s first attempt at offering a more traditional sedan, while the iM will offer more cargo room, since it’s basically a Corolla wagon, or as it’s otherwise known, the Toyota Auris. The iA, on the other hand, is a rebadged Mazda2. There’s no word on what will underpin the iR.
Continue reading to learn more about Scion’s latest trademark.
The Scion brand has slipped away from the cutting edge in recent years, and Toyota’s planning a significant product push in the next 12 months to rejuvenate the lineup with fresh ideas and fresh sheet metal. Despite rumors, however, don’t look for a crossover from the youthful brand. Scion’s willing to think outside the box, but it isn’t ready to go there.
As Scion’s sales have slowed and the product line has aged, there’s been some question as to whether the brand has lost its way. Introduced in 2002 as a hipper, younger alternative to the average Toyota, Scion quickly became a major contributor to the revolution in the subcompact market. Small, efficient cars didn’t have to be cheap-looking or boring, Scion opined, and the rest of the industry followed suit. These days the average entry-level car isn’t a ride that you buy just because you can’t afford anything else, but can be an entertaining and classy extension of your personality.
Scion helped to create this climate, but then the revolution seemed to pass it by. Ford, Honda, Mini, Fiat and even Kia and Hyundai became the go-to cars for the automotive hipsters that Scion was hoping to attract. Toyota’s keen to reverse this slide, and to that end unveiled the first of several all-new models at the New York Auto Show.
Continue reading for the full story.
Back in November, I covered each of the competitors in the Scion Racing Tuner Challenge, which is an annual build-off between three automotive media outlets to create the “ultimate Scion” in the 90-day run-up to SEMA. Each participant was allowed a $15,000 budget and free reign in terms of modifications. Taking the win was this old-school throwback from Speedhunters, which beat out both Super Street and GT Channel for the $10,000 grand prize. The “86” racer recently made an appearance on Jay Leno’s Garage, giving us a close-up look at just how much work went into its creation, not to mention a quick blast around LA with Leno at the helm.
The video begins with some of the technical bits that make this Scion so special, including the wide-body kit and custom wheels. Speedhunters also decided to pay homage to the IMSA era of U.S. GT racing, with a white, red, orange and yellow livery. The “86” you see plastered all over the body panels alludes to the car’s forerunners, including the legendary Toyota AE86 Hachi-Roku sport compact.
The FR-S’sublime handling characteristics are beefed up with stiff RS*R Black-i coilovers, plus a few extra complementary components to give it that true race car feeling in the bends. But the best bit lies under the louvered hood, where Speedhunters installed a Cosworth supercharger kit that pushes the powerplant to produce roughly 300 horsepower at the wheels.
In true car-guy fashion, Leno has his fun on the freeway and through the canyons, praising the car’s extra power. At the very least, you gotta hit play to hear that tuned flat-four sing.
Continue reading to learn more about the Speedhunters FR-S.
Last year wasn’t especially kind to Toyota’s Scion brand. Every car in the lineup saw a year-over-year sales decline of at least 6 percent, and the brand as a whole suffered a sales drop of 15.1 percent compared to 2013. But fear not faithful Scion fans and dealers, help is on the way. Toyota has just announced that a production version of the 2014 Scion iM Concept will be debuting in production guise at the 2015 New York Auto Show alongside an unnamed model that will stand as the brand’s first-ever sedan.
Based on the overseas Toyota Auris and revealed at the LA Auto Show, we knew we’d be seeing the new iM sooner rather than later, but other than confirmation of its unveiling, there is no additional information about the new sedan. It isn’t even clear if this four-door will be a rebadged Toyota product like many other Scion cars including the FR-S or a unique vehicle like the tC, which could possibly be the FR-S-based sedan we heard rumors of last year.
Regardless of which way Toyota goes with this sedan, it will help bring a little diversity to a Scion lineup that has relied solely on small hatchbacks and coupes since Toyota created it a decade ago.
Other than the iM and this new sedan, Scion also confirmed that it will debut a third new vehicle within the next three years. This could very easily be a much-needed replacement for the once-trend-setting xB or it could be an entirely new model altogether, but it will definitely inject some youthfulness into a lineup that currently averages more than four years old.
Click past the jump to read more about Scion’s future sedan.
Ah, the holidays. The perfect time to sit around the fire with family, roasting chestnuts and relaxing with a soothing cup of spiced eggnog. Well, either that, or roasting the tires off an FR-S with a super gulp serving of counter-steer.
That latter scenario was the retreat of choice for professional driver Ryan Tuerck as he slid his way up some 2,000 feet of switchbacks and blind corners in his 600-horsepower Scion FR-S. That hazy scenery behind the clouds of smoke is Burke Mountain in Vermont, which makes for some rather epic public-road drifting action. Adding to the fun, we find fellow Formula D driver Pat Goodin coming out in a black 1JZ-powered Nissan S13 for tandem madness.
Long story short, that white car isn’t stock. In this walk-around video, Tuerck lets us peek under the skin of this hyperspace FR-S. Motive power is provided by a turbocharged, Toyota 2JZGTE inline-six with cam gears and a stroker kit from Brian Crower. Making boost is a Garrett GTX3582R turbocharger, with two 44-mm (1.73-inch) wastegates. Two Radium Engineering catch cans condense blow-by vapors, while the tuner’s fuel regulator helps with the dino juice. Finally, Mishimoto cools with a thick radiator help in the corners. Dominant Engineering is responsible for all the fabrication work; check out the custom side exhaust dump peeking out of the passenger side fender.
The interior is gutted, while an ASD handbrake is in place for instant rear lock up. Recaro seats were installed to hold Tuerck in place. DBA Racing brake rotors, a Wisefab rear suspension kit, and BC Racing coilovers help round out the stop and turn. A Wisefab kit in the front helps eek out every last degree of steering angle.
With a car this wild, piloted by one of the drifting world’s best out in the unpredictable real world, you just know it’s going to be good. If you’ve been jonesing for some quality sideways hoonigenry, we have your prescription right here.
Click past the jump to read about the Scion FR-S.