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Scion Says Bye-Bye Box

Maker to drop both xB and xD models.

by on Apr.24, 2012

Not everything that glitters is gold, Scion discovered when it redesigned the boxy xB in 2008.

When is a minivan not a minivan?  When it is a cool box-on-wheels like the Scion xB.  Or, at least, it was when the maker introduced the original, squared off hatchback nearly a decade ago – spawning a whole host of imitations.  But a second-generation update left buyers cold, sending sales plunging – and now, it appears, Scion is about to say “bye-bye” to the box.

The maker also is planning to kill off the only slightly less boxy xD model which joined the Scion line-up late in 2007 to deafening disinterest, or so goes a new report in trade publication Ward’s.

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The two models will almost certainly won’t be replaced.  But that’s no surprise.  Scion officials have long stressed that products will come and go from the line-up as the Toyota sub-brand experiments with potential new concepts.

The Japanese maker initially billed Scion as its “youth division,” and while it hasn’t been doing all that well on the sales charts lately it has been able to attract younger, hipper buyers than traditional Toyota offerings like the Corolla and Camry.

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Subaru Names New Sports Car the BRZ

Will feature distinct differences from Toyota FRS-86, maker promises.

by on Aug.23, 2011

More to come in Frankfurt, but we know the long-awaited Subaru-Toyota sports car will be dubbed the BRZ on the Subaru side.

Subaru will bring a new “technology concept” to the upcoming Frankfurt Motor Show that should provide some pretty clear answers as to what to expect once it finally brings to market the long-awaited sports car it has been developing with Japanese giant Toyota.

One of the things we’ve already learned is that the new car will go by the name Subaru BRZ, that abbreviation short of Boxer Rear-drive Zenith.  As that, in turn, reveals, the sports car will be powered by the classic Subaru horizontally-opposed boxer engine but – in a sharp break from long-time policy – the BRZ will become the only model in the maker’s line-up not to feature all-wheel-drive.

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Subaru gave an earlier tease at last winter’s Geneva Motor Show, unveiling a transparent – and yet-unnamed – version of the sports car that did provide a visual guide to its mechanical underpinnings.  Subaru claims that the vast majority of the cars underlying technology was developed in its R&D labs, though Toyota officials have, more recently, tried to take claim for some of the key mechanicals.

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First Look: Scion FRS-86 Concept

“Friggin’ really sweet,” suggests Scion chief Hollis.

by on Apr.20, 2011

Scion boss Jack Hollis reveals the FRS-86 Concept.

There’s no denying Scion General Manager Jack Hollis is one very enthusiastic executive, so it took the corporate legal beagles from letting him write the press release explaining the logic behind the name of the maker’s new FRS-86 Concept.

“Friggin’ Really Sweet,” Hollis proclaimed during the Scion sport car’s unveiling.  Oops, never mind, he quickly said.  The barristers prefer the more officious Front-engine, Rear-drive Sport, with the “86” borrowed from the legendary Toyota AE-86 Corolla of a quarter century ago.

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The FRS-86 is no retro-mobile.  It’s a decidedly edgy show car that might take by surprise skeptics who expect plain vanilla design out of Toyota and its various brands.  Visually, the sports car boasts a gull-wing shaped roof, a trapezxoidal rear end and striking, almost sci-fi style headlamps.  The 20-inch wheels are eight inches wide up front and 10 in the rear, and incorporate the brake rotors.

Developed in a joint venture with Subaru – which Toyota holds a major share in – the sports car is aimed at rebuilding the market effectively left to Mazda’s little Miata, these days.  The FRS-86 takes advantage of the smaller maker’s low-slung boxer engine, which permit the powertrain to be mounted low and rearward.

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