Auto blogThu, 31 Oct 2013 11:27:00 EST
Scion has become something of a tuner favorite, so it's only fitting that Toyota's youth-oriented brand have an array of show cars ready for SEMA each year. And this year will be no exception.
Scion itself is bringing five cars to SEMA this year, and as you might expect, they're mostly based on the FR-S. There's a black one done in partnership with DJ Steve Aoki with an onboard mixing station, another (in white and black) done with Bulletproof Automotive with a 500-horsepower engine and fresh bodywork, a grey one done up with GReddy with a 750-horsepower turbocharged engine and, the slickest of the group, the Style J concept (pictured above) with matte grey bodywork, a Scirocco-style nose and a full leather interior. There's also a stretched xB done up by Cartel Customs and laden with tech.
Aside from Scion's own show cars, the automaker has also released the details on three entries for its Tuner Challenge: one each from the East Coast, Pacific Northwest and Southern California. Scion gave each builder a stock tC, 90 days and $15,000 to build their concepts that will be judged by an expert panel at the SEMA show, with the winner taking home a $10,000 prize.
Andy Palmer, Nissan's executive vice president, does not like the Scion FR-S or Subaru BRZ. To us, that's like saying you enjoy barbecuing puppies, but we'll let him slide, because his statements about the Toyobaru twins are much, much more than just idle trash talk.
Speaking to Motor Trend's Nate Martinez, Palmer said, "Do we have any competitors [in the small, rear-drive coupe segment]? Are you talking about the Subaru [BRZ]? It was a car designed for a 50-year-old. It's for a midlife crisis. That's not what we do." Strong words, but what followed was even better.
"Are you coming to the Tokyo Motor Show? You'll see the answer to the midlife crisis. Except it won't be for the midlife crisis." So, if you were wondering whether Nissan is working on a competitor to the Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ, the answer seems to be a resounding "yes."
While slow sales and a $50,000 price tag may have been contributing factors to the Aston Martin Cygnet being cancelled last month, Aston Martin CEO Ulrich Bez is pointing the finger at Toyota for the demise of this luxurious little city car. In a discussion with Autocar, Bez is quoted as saying that the ultimate reason the Cygnet was cut is because Toyota plans on dropping the iQ (on which the Cygnet is based) in 2014 - a claim denied by the Japanese automaker.
Interestingly, the article also cites another publication reporting that a Toyota importer in the Netherlands heard the same news as Bez, and it has already stopped importing the cars. If the European Toyota iQ is cancelled, that would likely spell the end of the slow-selling Scion iQ in the US, which has sold just 3,365 units through September (a drop of 51 percent year over year).
Regardless of why production of the Cygnet ended, Bez also says that a lack of support from Toyota on the project prevented it from being offered in the US or receiving a supercharged engine, which are two factors that likely would have made the car appealing to more buyers.
Mon, 21 Oct 2013 08:43:00 EST
"In the future, out of 100 customers, we want to excite ten of them instead of not offending all 100."
Almost all of the details about the Toyota New Group Architecture (TNGA) strategy have come out since the initiative was first reported on in March of this year, but Autoblog did learn a few new things about it on a recent trip to Japan. Probably the second-most important detail is that each new segment platform will be based around a common hip point to create an "optimal driving position architecture."
The future of the Scion brand remains up in the air, with a report from a few weeks back that Toyota dealers with attached Scion franchises could drop the youth-minded brand without penalty, rarely a good sign. That report was contrasted, though, with a story out of Australia that claimed we'd see a four-door sedan based on the splendid FR-S's overseas sibling, the Toyota GT 86. Now, we're hearing that a revised xB, Scion's formerly lovable toaster, is on the way. What gives?
As for the new xB, the news comes from our friends at Edmunds, which cites an unnamed source, who claims a new box-on-wheels should arrive in 2015 as part of potentially larger push for the Japanese sub-brand. Aside from the original xB, which enjoys a strong cult following, and the FR-S, Scion has had fewer home runs than Prince Fielder's post-season.
"In the next two calendar years, we will have a blend of both upgrades to the products we have in the market and at least one new model," according to Scion's vice president, Doug Murtha, who spoke to Edmunds via phone.
Sources in Australia are reporting that we'll be seeing a small, rear-drive sedan from Toyota, based on the GT 86/Scion FR-S. Yes, a convertible variant is still in limbo, but a four-door sedan is in the works. It's unclear if the rumored GT 86 sedan would spawn Scion and Subaru variants (it's hard to cross all ten fingers while you type, but we're having a go).
Working with remarks made by the car's chief engineer Tetsuya Tada in his blog and a rendering from Japanese magazine Holiday Auto, the Australian site Motoring is claiming that the new model's wheelbase will grow about four inches over the current GT 86's 101.2-inch wheelbase.
Besides the larger overall space between the axles, the sedan will offer a more potent engine option over the current 2.0-liter, flat-four. Promising 268 horsepower, which is a big jump over the current car's 200 ponies, the new powertrain will be derived from the Hybrid R setup, shown at the Frankfurt Motor Show. If, like us, you're reaching for the salt, and we don't blame you.
As we said in the title, the news here isn't a new, two-tone paint job for the Scion xD - it's that Scion is still building the oddly proportioned hatchback. For 2014, the xD will be available in two different color combinations, which will be split at the car's beltline.
The first combo, Magnetic Gray Metallic and Black Sand Pearl, puts the lighter shade on the bottom and the darker shade up top. The other combo, Sparkling Sea Metallic and Classic Silver Metallic (pictured), puts the more eye-catching color on the bottom.
Interested customers will need to shell out an additional $500 for the two-tone look. Other changes for the 2014 xD include a standard, 6.1-inch touchscreen display, Bluetooth audio streaming and a iPod/USB connectivity.
Bad news, sportscar fans. According to a new report from What Car?, Toyota has cancelled plans to produce a GT86 convertible, a model based on the FT-86 Open Concept that debuted at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show. In truth, Toyota never actually confirmed it would produce the budget-friendly droptop in the first place, but rumors have been flying since last year and Toyota reportedly showed its embattled Scion dealers a FR-S version of the convertible in August. Presumably, this means that a lidless variant of the Subaru BRZ is not in the cards, either.
The reason for the move is unknown, though What Car? reports "one possible cause is weight; Toyota did say that further work would be required on rigidity before the convertible could be launched, and that could have added extra bulk that conflict with the regular GT86's ethos of light weight and agile handling." It doesn't look like that work will happen anytime soon, as "sources now say that the car has now been delayed indefinitely, with no place in Toyota's product plan in either 2014 or 2015." Still holding out hope? What Car? says the project could be "fast-tracked" if management decides it wants to reboot the program down the road.
one possible cause is weight; Toyota did say that further work would be required on rigidity before the convertible could be launched, and that could have added extra bulk that conflict with the regular GT86's ethos of light weight and agile handling. - See more at: http://www.whatcar.com/car-news/toyota-gt86-cabriolet-cancelled/1214782#sthash.iStIkWnz.dpuf
According to a top Toyota executive, the Japanese automaker will not be introducing any fresh Scion models in the near future, Reuters reports. As of August, Scion sales for this year were down 1.6 percent from 2012 and accounted for only 0.3 percent of Toyota's overall US sales. And last month, Toyota Motor Sales USA Senior Vice President Bob Carter informed the 1,000 dealers who carry Scion that they can drop the brand without penalty.
However, never fear - Carter has assured that, while nothing new is coming for at least six months, the company is still very committed to the quirky Scion brand. Toyota launched Scion, which targets the youth market, in 2003, and sales peaked in 2006. The brand currently has five models, with the 2013 best-sellers being the FR-S sports coupe followed by the tC sedan and xB hatchback.
What do you think about Toyota's decision to hold off on introducing new or refreshed Scion models? Are they heading in the right direction, or does this spell doom for the funky Gen Y brand?
There's not a lot of breathing room between the Scion FR-S and the Subaru BRZ - the two rear-drive coupes are about as close to badge-engineered as the auto industry gets in this day and age. In this case, that's not a terrible thing, though, since they're both so engaging to drive, but it does make for interesting comparisons when it comes to pricing and model year updates.
Late last month, Subaru announced pricing for its 2014 BRZ, which didn't get much more than the inclusion of Aha internet radio compatibility and a $25,595 starting price - just $100 more than the 2013 model's MSRP. A modest $25 increase in destination charges ($795) means that it starts at $26,390. For its part, Scion will ask $24,600 for a base 2014 FRS, plus $755 for delivery, for a total of $25,355. That means the Subaru is more still expensive, but it has more available equipment as well.
The 2014 Scion FR-S isn't getting many tweaks, but a couple of small changes - knee pads on both the transmission tunnel and the door panels around the speaker grilles and a new standard 6.1-inch touchscreen audio system - are appreciated. (Note: 2013 model shown above).