Signs of life from Scion as the company announces the iM hot-hatch
Scion caught many Toyota family watchers off guard with its new iM concept vehicle announcement this week. The concept is a compact hatch the size and style of the cars now popular in rally-racing. Scion uses the word European in the press announcement, which is a term dramatically over-used by automakers. Here it may truly apply since the vast majority of Europeans drive cars this size and not the burly sports sedans we so often imagine.
Scion: Dead or Alive?
Not long ago the automotive media were all abuzz about the possible death of the Scion brand. Slow sales, particularly in comparison to Toyota’s amazing figures, and slow updates to the few models that actually sell within the brand had the press searching to clues to Toyota’s youth-brand’s future. Then one comment sent us all (myself included) to the keyboard to announce the demise of the makers of the tC, xB, and FR-S (and whatever the heck those other ones are called).
Hints of a Resurgent Scion
Last night I was at a meeting that included three Toyota employees and seven of Toyota's PR representatives. One of them mentioned to me that Scion is about to come back strong. She would not give me any more of a hint than that. She has no reason to bluff. The car that we were meeting to discuss is the world's most popular sedan made by the world's most profitable automaker. If Toyota's attention has now shifted back to Scion. quite a few companies that make small cars for young people are about to have some tough years ahead.
Scion’s Vice President Doug Murtha said in an announcement “The tastes of today’s younger buyers have evolved. They want a car that provides excitement and individuality, as well as the comfort, technology and reliability that Scion offers. The iM Concept combines sleek styling with the versatility of a modern hatchback to catch the eye of Scion customers.” If Scion is just now figuring this out it could explain a lot.
What is iM?
If we can be allowed to fantasize a bit, let’s imagine that this small Scion joins the line with the new 2.0-liter turbo found in the Lexus NX with optional AWD. OK, let’s just stop there. If this Scion has an engine bigger than a lunch box and more than 120hp, it will be a blessing.