by Mark Williams for PickupTrucks.com
From its creation, Scion has been promoted as Toyota’s youth-driven branch — a branch with latitude to take more risks. And now, as the economy is just beginning to show signs of recovery, Scion might see an opportunity to venture out of the comfort zone.
“Scion is about innovation and doing things differently. ... That’s why if we were ever to do something crazy, it would likely be more like a ‘Surprise Utility Vehicle’ rather than a basic pickup truck,” said Jack Hollis, Scion’s vice president.
In related news, Toyota announced it will grow the Prius brand of vehicles to include two new passenger-car models, the Prius V and Prius C. Toyota Group Vice President Bob Carter said a hybrid pickup, possibly similar in size and shape to the A-BAT concept truck we saw from 2008, could eventually become part of the family. But where a Prius or Toyota car-based pickup could likely support a higher price point, Hollis isn’t so sure that an A-BAT-like vehicle would be right for Scion.
“If we were going to do something in that category, in order to make it a Scion, it would be about being a sports equipment carrier, or a place to toss exercise gear, or maybe a covered or convertible large storage trunk to put backpacks or band equipment,” Hollis said. “It would have to be a special take on a segment-busting vehicle that gets people saying, ‘I didn’t know a vehicle could do that.’ ”
Hollis said there would also need to be a strong value equation to any new Scion, so development and engineering costs would be a strong consideration. With that said, we’d assume a shared platform is the only option here, but Hollis said sharing platforms is something Scion is not likely to do anytime soon. “We have to be the place that gets young buyers who would never consider a Toyota to stop and say, ‘Hey, this is cool.’ ”
Whether this means Scion would eventually make a smallish pickup truck version off its xB platform or something new remains to be seen, but Scion’s chief didn’t rule it out. We’re guessing much will depend on whoever brings out the first subcompact crossover pickup vehicle and whether it succeeds or fails. Regardless, we probably won’t see any big changes soon.