Ward's Auto has published a piece on Scion that further confirms that we really have no idea what to expect from the brand. In speaking with Toyota USA CEO Jim Lentz about what was once firmly intended to be a hip, experimental youth brand, Lentz said, "I still personally believe small-premium is the direction we should be going."
Following the niche-oriented iQ and FR-S, Scion is preparing its first new model with mass-market appeal in quite some time with the iM. Just unveiled at the recent Los Angeles Auto Show in concept form, our spies recently shot some photos of a slightly camouflaged production iM doing some testing in Southern California.
Ever since Toyota and Subaru released the sports car alternatively known as the GT86, 86, BRZ and Scion FR-S a couple of years ago, rumors have circulated that even more exciting variants could be in store. But at least as far as Scion is concerned, those rumors are apparently nothing more than wishful thinking.
Scion has officially pulled the covers off its iM Concept, which is, in reality, a slightly modified version of the Toyota Auris that is already sold outside the United States. It's also a model that is going into production for North America, says Scion, minus, we'd guess, a good bit of the overly aggressive ground effects bits, slammed suspension and oversize wheels.
After dropping a teaser image on us a few weeks ago, Scion has revealed in full the new iM Concept it's bringing to the Los Angeles Auto Show next week. As expected, the concept is clearly a rebadged version of the Euro-market Toyota Auris, only with some "European Racing Circuit Styling" upgrades to make it look more aggressive.
A brand like Scion is sort of a natural fit here at SEMA, what with the customizable schtick that it's trumpeted since being born in 2002. We've already seen some weird takes on the xB, but SEMA's magic wand has once done interesting things to the FR-S, seen here in a quartet of concepts.
The timing is perfect. Really, Scion couldn't have done any better, unveiling the latest member of the Scion tC Release Series – number 9.0, a stylish black-and-orange looker – barely a day after the San Francisco Giants, whose color scheme is black and orange, won the World Series. Also, one day before Halloween.
The Scion brand seems to be a bit rudderless in the auto industry at the moment. The company just doesn't seem to know what audience it wants to appeal to. For this year's SEMA Show in Las Vegas, the automakers is kind of just going wild with bizarre customs like a turbocharged FR-S with a targa top (pictured above).
When the doors open at the LA Auto Show in a few weeks, Scion will be on hand to showcase its new iM Concept. But considering what little Toyota's youthful brand has revealed about the concept so far, it's led to rampant speculation. And the prevailing wisdom seems to point towards a production iM arriving as a Scion-badged version of the Toyota Auris.