Scion iA, iM Small Cars, C-HR Crossover, Turn Into Toyotas Next Year
Toyota’s Scion “youth” brand will be killed off in August, but most of its models will live on as Toyotas. The first of those re-badged models will appear next week at the 2016 New York Auto Show.
The C-HR subcompact crossover concept — previously earmarked for Scion — will be displayed there as a Toyota too, as will the former Scion FR-S sports car. The iA sedan and iM hatchback will get new identities, Toyota confirmed in a press release detailing its plans for the New York show.
While the production version of the Toyota C-HR was shown earlier this month at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show, the U.S.-spec production model won’t appear until later this year. The concept has appeared at multiple auto shows with Toyota badging, but was also shown in Los Angeles last fall as a Scion. It will go on sale in spring 2017 as a 2018 model, Toyota says.
Meanwhile, the rear-wheel drive FR-S coupe will henceforth be known as the Toyota 86 in the U.S. The sports car, already sold as the Toyota GT86 outside the U.S., is a twin of the Subaru BRZ, and uses a Subaru 2.0-liter “boxer” four-cylinder engine. The “86” nomenclature references the AE86-model Toyota Corolla from the 1980s, a car supposedly well-known to the younger buyers the coupe was designed to court.
In addition to the name change, the FR-S/86 will get some styling and suspension tweaks for its debut this fall as a 2017 Toyota. Finally, the current Scion iA and iM will continue on as the 2017 Toyota Yaris iA and 2017 Toyota Corolla iM, respectively.
The new names indicate how both models will fit into the Toyota lineup. The Mazda 2-based iA will be a sedan counterpart to the existing Yaris hatchback (which is how it was sold in Canada over the past year anyhow). With its Mazda underpinnings, the iA is actually quite different from the current Yaris. Its best EPA combined rating of 37 mpg also tops the hatchback’s 33 mpg.
The iM is much more closely related to its Corolla sedan counterpart. This model is already sold in Europe as the Toyota Auris. As a U.S.-market Toyota, the iM will more or less be a replacement for the old Matrix hatchback, although without that model’s available all-wheel drive.
That just leaves the tC front-wheel drive coupe, which will die with the Scion brand itself. Toyota will send off this model with a final “Release Series” limited edition that will also debut in New York.
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