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Future products: Scion's lineup to grow

Tue, 28 Sep 2010

Scion was supposed to be Toyota's niche brand of fuel-efficient small cars for hip kids. But the original three-model product lineup is being expanded, so the brand's customer reach may be extended as well.

Early next year, Scion will add a rebadged version of the Japan-market Toyota iQ minicar. And the launch of the redesigned 2011 tC this fall may be followed with a five-door version as a midcycle addition. In addition, past concept vehicles such as the A-BAT compact pickup and Hako three-door might appear with Scion badging.

iQ: Scion hopes to sell 20,000 units a year of this four-passenger minicar, which debuts in the United States in early 2011. The iQ, intended for short trips, is barely 10 feet long and has no trunk space. The front passenger seat is mounted slightly forward of the driver's seat, easing access in the back.

The iQ, currently sold in Japan and Europe, is powered by a 100-hp, 1.3-liter four-cylinder engine. Miles per gallon is estimated in the upper 30s. The iQ has 10 airbags, including a rear-window curtain airbag.

xB: A third generation of the boxy, brand-defining crossover is due in the summer of 2012 as a 2013 model.

xD: The subcompact isn't hitting the target market, so expect major changes when it comes time to redesign the vehicle in the summer of 2012 as a 2013 model.

Hako: Cost targets are a problem, but Toyota hasn't ruled out this concept coupe from the 2008 New York auto show.

It could replace the xD or be an addition. Currently, the 94.5-inch-wheelbase Hako is under study as a "creative utility" vehicle.

tC: The redesigned 2011 sport coupe arrives this fall. There's a gutsier, 2.5-liter four-banger, making the tC nearly a second quicker in acceleration times. Engineers also lowered and widened the car to improve handling, and they installed bigger brakes. The look is more masculine.

A tC with suicide doors on both sides has been pondered--not as a five-door but more like a Mazda RX-8 in terms of application.

Mini pickup: Scion would get the nonhybrid version of the A-BAT concept, while the Toyota brand would offer a less-stylized hybrid version if the program is approved. The pickup would be car-based, likely combining RAV4 and Prius parts.

Compact performance vehicle: Under study is a rear-wheel-drive derivative of Toyota's sporty FT-86 coupe, being developed with Subaru. Although it would use the underpinnings of the FT-86, the Scion would come in at a much lower price. The Scion spinoff also might have a different silhouette than the FT-86.

By Mark Rechtin- Automotive News