Scion iM Concept ready to bow
Making its global debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show, the Scion iM Concept offers an early look at a vehicle we can expect to see in Scion showrooms. Based on the highly-regarded European Toyota Auris, this sporty 5-door takes Toyota's youth-oriented division in a new design direction. "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," said Doug Murtha, the division's vice president, this near-production-ready exercise that sports a number of one-off touches.
Finished in Incredible Blue with matte silver and gunmetal accent trim, the iM Concept boasts a bolder appearance than the Auris. Influenced by the look of competition-spec European Touring Car racers, its aggressively styled front fascia adds edge with a geometric grille insert, deep splitter and large, vertically oriented LED fog lamps. The rear quarters of the Scion iM Concept are highlighted by a dramatically chiseled lower fascia also flanked by prominent fog lights and a center-mount exhaust outlet. Rounding out the look are deeply sculpted side sills and flared fenders that house 19-inch forged alloy wheels wrapped in low-profile performance tires.
Scion did not offer any details on the engine in the iM Concept, including whether its production successor would offer the same hybrid option to a gasoline engine. However, in keeping with its quasi-racer theme, the show car does feature an adjustable-height suspension and upgraded brakes with vented front rotors and 4-piston calipers. Exactly how much of this enhanced hardware or high-exterior treatment will make it into production remains to be seen. As does whether it ultimately replaces the aging Scion xB or xD - or perhaps both. However, Murtha did say the production car will debut at the New York Auto Show next April and hinted that it would deliver great fuel economy at a sub-$20K starting price.
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