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2013 - 2015 Scion FR-S

2013 - 2015 Scion FR-S

For all of the press and hype surrounding the Toyota GT 86 and the Subaru BRZ, not a lot of people know or have given love to the third model of the bunch, the Scion FR-S.

All that’s about to change because the Scion FR-S has arrived. For those that have shed rivers of tears when they found out that neither the GT 86 nor the BRZ were headed Stateside, news that the FR-S will arrive in America is tantamount to a post Thanksgiving blessing.

Now, we’ve actually seen a concept version of the FR-S - called the FR-S Concept - at the New York Auto Show, so it really didn’t come as a surprise to a lot of us that the sports coupe was coming to the US, but seeing the concept and seeing the production version are two different things.

It doesn’t even matter that we’re not getting the GT 86 and the BRZ. We have the FR-S, and just like a child that comes to us, we’re going to shower it with as much love as we can possibly give.

Updated 05/15/2015: Scion today announced prices and updates for the 2015 FR-S sports car set to go on sale just in time for summer. Updates for the 2015 model year include: a more rigid front suspension and re-tuning of the rear shock absorbers, larger exhaust tips and for the interior an updated panel with a carbon fiber look. The model will also get auto on/off headlights. Prices for the 2015 FR-S will start from $24,900 for the six-speed manual version and $26,000 for the six-speed automatic one.

Find out more about the Scion FR-S after the jump.

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2017 Scion tC Release Series 10.0

2017 Scion tC Release Series 10.0

Scion bids its final farewell at the New York Auto Show with a modified Scion tC

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.

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2015 Scion C-HR

2015 Scion C-HR

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.

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2016 Scion iA By Skybound Entertainment

2016 Scion iA By Skybound Entertainment

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.

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2016 Scion FR-S Release Series 2.0

2016 Scion FR-S Release Series 2.0

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.

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2016 Scion iA Eddie Huang

2016 Scion iA Eddie Huang

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.

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2016 Scion xB 686 Parklan Edition

2016 Scion xB 686 Parklan Edition

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.

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2015 Scion FR-S - Driven

2015 Scion FR-S - Driven

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.

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2016 Scion tC

2016 Scion tC

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.

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2016 Scion iM

2016 Scion iM

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.

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2016 Scion iA

2016 Scion iA

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.

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2016 Scion iM: First Drive

2016 Scion iM: First Drive

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

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2016 Scion iA: First Drive

2016 Scion iA: First Drive

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

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2014 Scion FR-S - Driven

2014 Scion FR-S - Driven

When Toyota and Subaru announced their plans to join forces and create a small, affordable rear-wheel drive coupe, the world rejoiced. With Toyota’s legendary quality and reliability coupled to Subaru’s knowledge of fun and exciting rally machines, this car had the potential to be one of the best enthusiast machines in years. The car that was created wears the badge FR-S for Scion and BRZ for Subaru. A while back our very own Mark McNabb was granted the keys to a Scion FR-S, but he was saddled with the automatic transmission. To get the most of a machine like the FR-S you need the ability to row your own.

When I got the call that a FR-S was going to be heading to my driveway with a proper three-pedal transmission, I was excited to see how different it was to drive compared to the automatic version that Mark had. I slide into the driver’s seat, slotted the slick manual into first gear and set off on a week of fun and mayhem with tiny sports car.

Click past the jump to read my full review of the 2014 Scion FR-S

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2014 Scion iM Concept

2014 Scion iM Concept

The 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show is just around the corner, and although Toyota isn’t planning on revealing any new production vehicles like it did last year, it’s bringing a couple of intriguing concept cars to display, one of which is the Scion iM. Scion isn’t doing too well these days; most of its offerings are dated and the brand’s future is rather uncertain. However, it seems Scion is thinking outside the box in Los Angeles with a concept car that transforms an otherwise plebeian Toyota into a track-ready hot hatch.

The vehicle in question is the Auris compact, which has yet to reach U.S. shores since its introduction in 2006. It’s indeed awkward for Scion to meddle with a vehicle that’s not available on these shores, but I’m glad it did, as the iM Concept is an aggressively styled hatch with plenty of performance upgrades. Granted, the Auris isn’t a particularly exciting car, but the iM Concept looks like it has a decidedly sporty bend to it. Read on to find out what makes this concept a vehicle Scion needs to approve for mass production.

Updated 11/20/2014: The new Scion iM concept made its world debut at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show. According to the company the iM is a preview version of a versatile five-door compact hatchback that will arrive in dealerships in 2015 at a price starting under $20k.

Updated 01/23/2015: We’ve added a series of new images from the car’s official debut at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show. Check the new images in the "Pictures" tab.

Click past the jump to read more about Scion iM Concept.

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