By Steve Laser
The cat is out of the bag and it looks like a Toyota Auris. Scion just released details about its new iM “concept” set to debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show next week. While the brief press release below makes no mention of the car’s roots, we can see that it’s a reworked Toyota Auris.
The big questions that remain (and will likely be answered during Scion’s L.A. press conference) include: When will the production iM debut? How much will it cost? Will the lower body enhancements and big wheels be offered? What powertrains will be available? Will Scion import this Auris spinoff from Japan, where it’s built at Toyota’s Takaoka plant, or from Europe, where it comes off the line at Toyota Motor Manufacturing’s UK Burnaston factory in Derbyshire?
While the Auris name is new to Americans, it’s already in its second generation in other markets where it’s sold under various names and fitted with different equipment. For example, the Japanese Auris offers a choice of 1.5-liter or 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engines with front- or all-wheel drive and CVT-i or 6-speed manual transmissions. We’ve included a photo of the Euro Auris below for reference.
There’s also an Auris Hybrid, which may or may not make it stateside. It appears that the longer-wheelbase Auris Touring Sports, popular in Europe, is not part of the game plan since it doesn’t look as “cool” as the short-wheelbase 5-door hatch.
While we’re glad to see Scion finally adding new models, we’re hoping that the iM will not be a replacement for the iconic Scion xB, which was the star of Toyota’s upstart youthful division when it was launched a decade ago.
Here’s Scion’s press release:
Modern and Magnetic: Scion iM Concept Car to Debut at LA Auto Show
“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 Scion Vice President Doug Murtha. “The iM Concept combines sleek styling with the versatility of a modern hatchback to catch the eye of Scion customers. Stay tuned for more on how we will bring this vision to the road.”
Scion’s press conference will be held on Wednesday, November 19, at Scion’s display in the South Hall. To follow Scion news at the LA Auto Show use the hashtag #iMDriven or visit http://www.scion.com/blog.