Let me be clear: I don’t think Toyota needs the Scion brand.
The initial intent in creating Scion was to appeal to a younger crowd at a lower price point with small but exciting vehicles. It worked for a little while but Scion has slowly been dying in recent years.
The cars, with the exception of the great FR-S (which should have been a Toyota) are lifeless and dull.
Regardless of this humble car blogger’s opinion, Scion trudges on and will introduce a new vehicle at the LA Auto Show this week.
The Scion iM Concept is essentially a rebadged and modified version of the Toyota Auris hatchback, a model that has been available in European markets since 2012.
We can assume that the iM, a five-door compact wagon, will be powered by the same 132-horsepower, 1.8-liter four-cylinder that sits under the hood of the Toyota Corolla. The Corolla, Auris, and now the iM all share the same platform.
The iM concept uses wide-body enhancements and a lowered ride height made possible by a height-adjustable race suspension. That’s pretty cool, but I wonder if it would be feasible on a production version. Also unlikely are the 19-inch forged alloy wheels, which are stopped by vented front brake rotors gripped by four-piston calipers. The oversized LED fog lights probably wouldn’t make production either. The iM, I’m afraid, will be all show and no go. Why make the exterior look like a rally car when the power matches a basic Corolla? It doesn’t make any sense.
Maybe I’m jumping to conclusions. Maybe the iM will actually have the guts to back up its looks. Maybe Toyota will plunk in the FR-S engine and give drivers a reason to need those vented calipers. If that doesn’t happen, it would probably make more sense to buy a used Matrix and call it a day.
We’ll find out for sure what exactly the concept iM comes packing when it’s shown in detail in LA, but don’t hold your breath for a production version that takes your breath away.
Is Scion still on your shopping list?