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Scion Previews iM Hatchback Concept

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On: Fri, Nov 14, 2014 at 2:20PM | By: Carl Malek

Scion Previews iM Hatchback Concept

Following the prior release of several veiled teaser images, Scion has officially taken the shroud of secrecy off its L.A.-bound iM concept which will make its formal debut at the 2014 L.A. Auto Show next week. The concept should a compelling preview of what could be a replacement for the ill-fated and equally ill-conceived Scion XD hatchback (which was, in turn, a replacement for the equally mediocre and unsuccessful Scion xA).

As many in the auto industry had hoped, the iM is based on a Toyota model not sold here in the states, the Euro-spec Toyota Auris hatchback. Unlike the standard issue Auris, the iM sports several distinctive design cues which draw their inspiration from the European touring car circuit and do a good job of making the iM stand out to the keen observer. Larger air intakes up front help give the iM a meaner yet purposeful face, while a custom body kit and lowered suspension augment the iM's bulldog-like personality even further. Meanwhile, slick 19-inch wheels and custom blended "Incrediblue" paint round out the styling upgrades and serve as a figurative exclamation point to the iM's design.

In addition to its slick exterior styling, the iM can hold its own out on a track, thanks to a sport-tuned suspension as well as upgraded four-wheel disc brakes that promise to deliver more bite than the units found on a standard Auris. Scion Vice President Doug Murtha shared his thoughts on the IM and its broader purpose by stating, "The tastes of today's young buyers have evolved. They want a car that provides excitement and individuality as well as the comfort technology and reliability that the Scion brand offers. The iM concept combines sleek styling with the versatility of a modern hatchback to catch the eyes of modern Scion customers. Stay tuned for more on how we will bring this vision to the road." While Scion did not reveal what engine powers the iM, expect the production version to utilize an existing Toyota engine, most likely from the Auris's American cousin, the 2013 Toyota Corolla, with transmissions being shared with the Corolla as well.

The iM in its current form appears to be a representation of the brand's future, and comes amid Scion's current efforts to restructure its lineup and reverse a recent sales skid by restoring its relevancy among young buyers. In addition to this rebadged Auris, Scion also plans to add a small crossover as well as a sedan version of the 2016 Mazda2. Look for Scion to release more details on the iM concept when it makes its official debut November 19th at the 2014 L.A. Auto Show.

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