The LA Auto Show debut of the Scion iM Concept kicks off a new-product initiative for the youthful Toyota offshoot, which plans to introduce three new models over three years. Scion says a production version of the sporty five-door hatchback will debut next spring at the New York Auto Show and will reach Scion showrooms in 2015.
While the automaker provided no details of specifications like engine and transmission choices, it did provide a ballpark pricing estimate, suggesting the production iM will start under $20,000.
Finished in eye-catching “Incrediblue” paint, the iM Concept sports an aggressive look compared to more subtle compact hatches like the Ford Focus or VW Golf. The stance is low and wide, emphasized by large, 19-inch wheels finished in gunmetal gray paint and shod in low-profile tires.
Up front, the racy fascia includes a wide lower grille flanked by stacked fog lights and incorporates a prominent splitter that wraps up to the front fenders. From behind, the looks is similarly sporty thanks to black mesh inserts in the rear fascia and a center-mounted exhaust pipe. In profile, however, the iM is relatively tame; only the tight wheel-arch gaps on the concept car lend it an edgy look.
The only bit of actual hardware Scion is ready to mention is a height-adjustable racing suspension. Whether or not this feature makes it to the production version remains unknown.
Scion says it intends the production iM to appeal to its young, 18- to 34-year-old demographic with unique styling, an affordable price, good fuel economy and sporty handling. With so few details, though, predicting the likelihood of success is difficult. The exterior design is attractive, but competition is tough; the iM needs the right mix of performance and efficiency to succeed, not to mention a slick interior design and the technology millennials demand.
Those details will likely be available by the time a production version of the Scion iM debuts in April at the New York Auto Show. Scion says it will be joined by another new model and, in total, the automaker will introduce three new products over three years. In the meantime, Scion continues to tout its unique, no-haggle Pure Price program. The simplicity of that alone may be enough to lure some young, first- or second-time car buyers to Scion showrooms.