May 16th, 2015
Scion iM & iA Industry Influencer's Auto Show
Just after the unusually ominous and dark clouds have passed in the Southern California sky, the freshly launched pair of Scion's brand new game-changer cars, the Scion iM and the Scion iA was put on the center stage. Invited were the most unusual mix of car fanatics and hardest core aftermarket brands. Held on the patch of outdoor lot of Toyota USA's big campus, it was really a sight to see everything from thug-lean owners of hydro lowriders, freshest Lamborghini Aventador, the usual pack of customized toaster xB's, and everything in between, even Cruella's Excalibur!
The eco-utility Scion iM is exactly what the Toyota lineup needed to refresh the aging xD, and to fulfill those who missed the defunct Toyota Matrix for a few years it was absent. Standing out like the Minions, a Yellow Pearl painted iM was showcased, clad with modified trick-drop in the tradition of Scion's niche target audience. A modular Inno roof rack and a pair of bicycles looked dope and really put the car in the Southern California elements. Sharp crease lines and angular styling elements flow with audacity, and just screams to be on Instagram-square frame of smart-phones.
The Scion iA, while more formal than the iM in terms of function as a sedan, isn't free of sinister looks when treated in Darth Vader helmet-black paint, which reveal just enough chrome on the grill and corner trim. Having roots as a Mazda 2, the iA's enormous fender blister isn't anything conventional and with a little goggle-view into what the owners might do to it in the aftermarket shopping list, the iA did prove capable of stancing out as mini-VIP'ed sedan.
Honestly, I think the cars are plain enough for a more mundane user, which is an important trait for the car to do well in sales volume, and the target prices being reasonable for class, it is indeed, something Toyota has always done best for the brand. But being put into the beat-box, floor thumping Scion brand, the cars also have potential to be hacked, sacked, cut, flared, and slammed as Scion owners always have done as an American pastime. Somebody at Scion totally gets who the target is on this one, and while none of Scion's cars are designed to hit one out of the park, it certainly looks the part to active the youth generation, who might have some imagination to go tweak these cars... Scion owners love to create their own version, so really all Toyota needs to do is make a blank canvas to enable them. And the creative ones will definitely see these as the best canvas since the original xB, which was popular when baseball was still followed by Gen X.
Will the neo-tuners embrace it? We will know in a few months, if they take time off from base jumping or nail-art painting, and get back to tweaking cars again.
For one, I wouldn't mind seeing tons of them going places with boats, boards, and bikes strapped to the roof. And with Toyota's recent refinement for driver tactility with small cars, I am sure they'll all think it's the "bomb" to drive it there too.