AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
The three Tuner Challenge tCs won’t be the only cars filling up Scion’s booth this year at SEMA Show; five other modified Scions will also make their presence known including some wild FR-Ses.
A Cheap Box, and Not Much Else
When the Scion xB was first introduced in 2003, it was a funky looking little square box aimed at youths involved in the tuner car scene. However, like many vehicles of this era targeted at younger buyers, it never really caught on. Blame the lack of power, blame the quirky looks, blame an unknown brand, but the xB look was destined to disappear into the automotive hall of shame with Edsel, the Aztek and the Vehicross.
When Scion was originally launched in 2003, the automaker intended for its models to follow a “one and done” mantra, which meant each model would be canceled after a single life cycle.
But that wasn’t the case due to the popularity of some of its models – namely the xB and tC. After a strong run, Scion has now announced the xB will be joining the xA in Scion’s automotive graveyard. Also gone is the universally unloved xD. The Japanese automaker announced that the xB and xD will not see another generation, making way for new models under the Scion name.
Jack Hollis, Vice President of Scion told Ward’s Auto, “We don’t have plans for a direct xB or xD replacement,” which means we might never see a box-shaped Scion ever again. Scion didn’t mention when we might see the new models, but we’re confident the FR-S will keep the Scion name exciting for at least a couple of years.
[Source: Ward's Auto]
With the Scion FR-S destined to arrive on North American soil rather soon, it’ no surprise that the sub-brand for Japanese automaker, Toyota, decided to give its website a new identity. It appears that Scion hopes to give itself a more of a “grown up” image too with the FR-S’s arrival, which will undoubtedly be the first real sports car for the young brand.
Up until now, Scion is most well-known for its quirky models that appeal to the young automotive enthusiast interesting in customizing their vehicle to match their personality. And while the tC was an attempt at making a sporty coupe, most would agree that it doesn’t have – or even come close to – the appeal that the FR-S brings. We already have no doubts that the FR-S as a car is a hit (read our review here), but it’ll be interesting to see if buyers can get over the “Scion hump” of knowing that it doesn’t boast a Toyota badge, but rather a badge that’s been heavily associated to a younger generation of car enthusiasts.
Either way, the new website is clearly an indication that Scion wants to trend away slowly from the reputation it has established over the years. Rather than a dark-themed and Flashy website, it now incorporates a friendly-on-the-eyes design with everything just a couple of clicks away. In other words, it’s function over form, much like the FR-S. It looks great, and it performs great.
At the 2012 Montreal International Auto Show, Scion brought a trio of Release Series vehicles out to display for the Canadian market. This is the first time Scion’s Release Series vehicles have ever been to a Canadian auto show.
Starting with the xB Release Series 9.0, the limited edition xB will only see 200 units in Canada with its Hot Lava exterior paint, Scion honeycomb grill, illuminated vehicle locator badges, suede-style trimmed seats, color-matched stitching, embossed seat logos and RS individually-numbered badges.
A huge contrast to the flashy and bright xB is the Blizzard Pearl xD Release Series 4.0. The frosty xD has a unique blizzard pearl finish, packs 16-inch smoked platinum wheels on each corner while the interior also gets some Pearl white matched pieces and seat surfaces. Only 100 of these will be made available in Canada with each one individually numbered and featuring RS 4.0 all-season floor mats.
Last but not least, the High Voltage Yellow tC Release Series 7.0 – that’s been made famous by the commercials – will be limited to just 175 cars in Canada. The bright yellow tC is further accented by a TRD body kit and 18-inch gloss black wheels. On the inside, there’s plenty of yellow contrast stitching and the tC features a Smart Key with push button start. And of course, there’s an RS individually-numbered illuminated badge for the vehicle.
The Release Series xB begins at $20,950, the xD 4.0 starts at $18,460 while the retina-burning tC Release Series 7.0 is $23,425.
GALLERY: Scion Release Series Vehicles
Scion has revealed two new Release Series editions for the 2012 model year.
The Scion xD R.S. 4 will offer cosmetic upgrades including a unique Blizzard Pearl paint job finished with a sleek set of 16 inch alloy rims in a smoked platinum finish. Interior upgrades will feature colored trim pieces matching the paint scheme and white stitching. The limited run of 800 units will be priced at $16,980 for the manual or $17,780 for the automatic.
The Scion xB R.S. 9 will get an attention grabbing Hot Lava paint finish along with a color matching “SCION” text embossed across the face of a sport appearance honeycomb lower grill. An interesting feature exclusive for the Release Series 9 are its illuminating front and rear badges that will activate every time the remote locks or unlocks the car. The interior will feature synthetic suede seats and Hot Lava trim pieces. Only 1,500 R.S. 9 models will be built. Prices start at $18,840 for the manual and will reach $19,790 for the automatic.
The 2012 Scion line-up will all receive a new Pioneer audio system with Bluetooth and HD Radio.
GALLERY: 2012 Scion Release Series
Another year and another release for Scion’s now infamous xB urban utility vehicle. Much of what we’ve come to know about the second generation xB has been left untouched for their 2012 version, except for the addition of standard Bluetooth hands-free and HD radio technology. An option for a premium audio system with 5.8-inch touchscreen and Pandora Internet Radio is also available.
MSRP for the 2012 Scion xB remains aggressive within their market as the five-speed manual retails for $16,300 while the four-speed automatic is at $17,250. Both will come standard with Bluetooth hands-free and streaming audio to complement its HD Radio technology for 2012. The standard 160-watt Pioneer audio system will allow users to wireless stream audio from their phone to the vehicle’s sound system. iPod, iPhone and other portable music players can also be connected directly to the system through the USB or AUX port.
The optional 200-watt Pioneer Premium audio system will feature everything that the standard system has but includes a 5.8-inch touchscreen and has iTunes tagging and Pandora internet radio connected through an iPhone.
Everything else is standard second generation Scion xB. It’ll still feature a 2.4L four-cylinder with 158-hp, 16-inch steel wheels with choice of wheel cover design and its iconic box shape.
GALLERY: 2012 Scion xB Audio Systems
Rogue Status are huge sponsors of Ken Gushi and Tanner Foust, both pilots of RWD Scion tCs in the Formula Drift series. So leave it to them to come up with the idea to build yet another RWD Scion, this time a Toyota Supra 2JZ-powered xB.
Someone has to believe that not even the top executives at Scion planned for this level of personalization and customization when they first came out with the xB. By all accounts the Scion xB is a utility vehicle, something to commute from point A to point B, slowly, safely and penny-pinching on gas. It’s got unique styling and has definitely stuck in the import world, but who would have thought just a few years since its debut that RWD projects would be completed and driving smoothly on the freeways of Southern California?
From the photos it’s clear that Rogue Status enlisted the help of motorsports genius and fabricator, Stephan Papadakis, who’s resume with building, racing and tuning cars is one-of-a-kind. It looks like they headed to RCH Designs in Huntington Beach, CA for a studio photoshoot of the lightly-colored xB sporting a rad set of dark blue Advan wheels. We already know the power potential of the Toyota 2JZ that lies under the hood, so it will be interesting to see when and if this car really does get sideways out on the track.
One thing is for sure, the car is very nicely built and everything flows together on it. From the widebody arches to the massive intercooler and even the contrasting-colored decals, we’re a huge fan. Hopefully an entertaining video surfaces soon of this xB but in the meantime we’ll have to keep our eyes out on it cruising the streets!
GALLERY: Rogue Status Drift RWD 2JZ-Powered Scion xB
Toyota Canada has announced that it will expand its product offering significantly in Canada with the introduction of the youth-oriented Scion brand in September of 2010. The launch will be targeted at several major markets including Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver. In total 45 dealers will be a part of the expansion.
The Scion dealers will operate as a “store within a store” and will be part of existing Toyota dealerships. There will be 18 Scion dealers in Montreal, 20 in Toronto and 7 in Vancouver.
“This is a great time to launch Scion in Canada,” said Larry Hutchinson, Director of Scion in Canada. “As the auto industry emerges from recession, one of the largest and youngest demographics will be entering the marketplace. Young buyers will be looking to the ever-growing small car market. They are not only looking for a safe, high-quality and fuel efficient vehicle, it is important to them that the vehicle reflects their personality and lifestyle, and the stylish and trendy Scion brand will be there to fulfill that need.”
The launch of Scion in Canada will start with three vehicles, all of which are currently offered in the U.S. (Scion’s only other market). The vehicles include the sporty tC, the funky and functional xB and the sub-compact xD. Scion is also expected to deliver new models in the near future, with one possibility being a version of the Toyota iQ mini car.
For a full list of Canada’s Scion dealers, see after the jump:
Scion has added yet another product to its already extensive list of dealer-offered accessories – a Kenstyle aero kit for the xB model.
The kit includes a new front bumper, side skirts and a rear bumper, all for a reasonable $1,299.99 plus installation. The kit is a part of Scion’s Optomize accessory program and is currently available at dealers thought the United States and Puerto Rico.
Made to high-quality standards the Kenstyle kit is designed to fit perfectly. It is made of urethane for light weight, an OEM-look and overall durability.
The Kenstyle aero kit gives U.S.-tuners a genuine JDM look with the convenience and quality service of a local Scion dealer.
For more on the aero kit and Scion’s Optimize accessory program visit:
GALLERY: Kenstyle Scion xB
Dealerships to open in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver first
Eight years after the Scion brand was launched in the U.S., Toyota’s youth-oriented offshoot will open dealerships in Canada in 2010. With a dealership-within-a-dealership approach, Scions will be available at several Toyota stores in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. Expansion to other urban centers (or “centres” as they say in Canada) is expected but not yet official.
Scion will enter the Canadian marketplace with all three of its vehicles, the tC sport coupe, the xD five-door hatchback and the cube-shaped xB five-door hatchback.
And of course, all Scion models in Canada will be available with numerous accessories and upgrades, from wheels to shift knobs and from stereo systems to TRD (Toyota Racing Development) performance parts.
“Scion is a unique brand, yet still a member of the Toyota family so it benefits from the same high standards as our Toyota and Lexus lines,” said Larry Hutchinson, Director of Toyota Canada Inc., commenting that in the U.S. 70 percent of Scion buyers are new to Toyota, and over fifty percent of Scion owners migrate to a Toyota vehicle as their needs and wants evolve.
For more information on Scion Canada visit: www.scionnation.ca
Official release after the jump: