Product Launch Presentation

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SCION LAUNCH PRESENTATION

Written by Richard Bellikoff

Scion is here. It’s the new marque from Toyota, based on a new concept in equipping and marketing vehicles, and designed for a new kind of customer.

Some people call them Generation-Y. They’re young, tech-savvy, and always on the move.  When they shop, they don’t want to be sold, they want to discover things for themselves.

They’re into personal expression and unconventional choices. Whatever they buy, they like to “re-mix,” personalizing it to suit their individual tastes.

These are the people Toyota developed Scion for.

Every Scion has Toyota DNA — meaning Toyota’s heritage of quality, value, and fit-and-finish.  Scion shares these important traits with Toyota. But they’re deliberately different from their parent in several ways.

They have polarized styling that’s out of the mainstream. And they can be personalized to the owner’s individual taste, with a wide variety of accessories.

Scion is a departure from the traditional way of equipping vehicles. There are no trim levels and no option packages — nothing to complicate the purchase or confuse the customer.

Instead, Scion introduces the concept of the mono-spec vehicle.

That doesn’t mean these are stripped-down cars. Quite the opposite — because Scion has taken the most popular equipment and made it standard.

There’s a single model designation for each Scion — either xA or xB, with a low MSRP.

Standard features include power windows, mirrors and door locks, air conditioning, and anti-lock brakes. These are items you wouldn’t expect to find on vehicles priced as affordably as Scion.

To get features like these on some competitive vehicles, you have to buy expensive option packages, or even move up to a higher-priced trim level. They don’t offer customers the kind of value that Scion does.

With either the xA or xB, customers have just four choices to make . . .

Six exterior colors –

– Three wheel cover designs –

– Manual or automatic transmission –

– and a choice of two premium audio systems.

Only one factory option is available — side airbags with side-curtain airbags, on Scion xA.

But that’s not the end of all the available features for Scion buyers. It’s just the beginning.

There are about 40 different accessories. To tell you about them, we’d have to be here all day.

They’re specially designed for Scion.

They’re priced competitively with aftermarket equipment.

They’re covered by Toyota’s factory warranty, if they’re bought at the same time as the vehicle and installed by a Toyota dealership.

They can be financed along with the vehicle purchase, to keep down out-of-pocket costs.

And best of all, customers pay only for the accessories they need.

The availability of all these Scion accessories lets customers “remix” their Scions. Personalization is a key concept for these vehicles.

In short, Scion customers get the best of both worlds — a high level of standard equipment, plus the ability to personalize their vehicles.

Scion has five big stories to sell — Audio, Versatility, Style, Safety, and Fun-to-Drive. Let’s get started with the number-one Scion story — Audio.

To this generation, music is life. They listen to it 30 to 40 hours a week. So a great audio system is the first thing they look for when they shop for a car.

You wouldn’t expect to find a name-brand premium audio system on a vehicle in this price range, but Scion is full of surprises.

Customers have a choice of two audio systems made especially for Scion by Pioneer — a leading manufacturer of audio products.

Both systems have an AM-FM radio with a head unit that puts out 160 watts of maximum power.  It drives six speakers — two ¾-inch tweeters, two 6½-inch front speakers, and two 5¾-inch rear speakers.

Both systems play CDs and MP3s

The optional upgraded Pioneer system has a 6-disc, in-dash CD changer, along with a lighted faceplate that can be set to any one of ten colors to personalize the system to the owner’s mood. It can also be set to cycle through all ten colors automatically.

The exclusive Scion Sound Processing system, or SSP, adjusts the audio ambience for individual tastes. It’s a digital equalization system with three settings — Neutral, Hear and Feel.

“Neutral” keeps the music in the background, for when you’re having a conversation.

“Hear” brings out crisp highs and powerful lows — the way the recording artist wanted you to hear it.

“Feel” lets everyone in the car not only hear the music, but feel it too.  It puts the listener right in the music — almost like you’re playing it yourself on stage.

Scion is the first vehicle in its class to develop a feature like SSP.

The accessory “Bazooka Tube” subwoofer upgrades the system with thundering bass. It comes with its own 100-watt amplifier, an 8-inch dual voice coil woofer, and a separate bass volume control.

The Bazooka Tube is installed in the cargo area and is easy to remove, to make more room for cargo.

Every Scion audio system is also pre-configured to act as a controller for XM satellite radio.  There’s no need for the customer to buy a separate head unit. All they have to do is buy two Scion accessories: the plug-in XM tuner and the XM roof-mounted antenna.

For a reasonable monthly subscription fee, they get coast-to-coast digital broadcasting of over a hundred channels — including music, comedy, news and talk shows.

Both Scions have interior environments that are specially designed for a great listening experience.

Sound-absorbing materials all over the cabin approach the levels found in luxury vehicles.  They’re in the bodysides, the flooring, the instrument panel, the front bulkhead, and even under the hood. Other features like double-door seals and a curved floor pan add to Scion’s noise insulation.

The result is a quiet ride, so the driver and passengers can hear the music, not the road.

A lot of Scion buyers are going to be music enthusiasts who are used to buying aftermarket audio systems for their cars. But with Scion, they don’t have to, because they get premium Pioneer audio — MP3 playback — Scion Sound Processing — XM satellite radio capability — an available Bazooka Tube subwoofer — and a quiet interior that’s designed for great listening.

That’s a lot of audio for a vehicle in this price range.

(Pause for transition to next segment)

Now let’s talk about Scion’s versatility story.

Versatility is all about giving Scion owners the ability to re-configure the vehicle’s interior to suit their needs and lifestyles.

Both Scions are 5-door hatchbacks — the most versatile design for carrying passengers and cargo.  Their roomy interiors can seat up to five.

When customers get inside a Scion, they’ll discover how spacious and comfortable they are — especially for cars in this price range.

Passenger volume isn’t the whole story. Scion xB has an amazing amount of headroom — more than you’d imagine when you look at it from the outside.

The front sport bucket seats in xB provide firm support and recline all the way, for maximum comfort.

And the passenger seat folds flat, so you can put cargo on top of it if nobody’s sitting there.

The seat fabric has surprising quality for a vehicle in this price range.

Open the large rear hatch, and there’s an impressive amount of cargo room for cars this size.

Scion xB has an electric power release that makes the hatch even easier to open.

The 60/40 split-folding rear seat in both Scions adds a lot of versatility.

Fold down the “40” side to create a little more cargo space, and you still have lots of passenger room left.

Fold down the “60” side for even more cargo space, and you’ll still have room for a rear passenger.

Fold down both sides, for maximum cargo capacity if there are no passengers in back.  You can switch from one folding setup to the other in seconds.

In Scion xB, the rear seat folds nearly flat, to make cargo loading even easier.

For smaller items, both Scions have plenty of cubbyholes and small storage spaces all over the interior.

They’re in the dash –

– the front doors –

– and the center console.

There’s also a larger glove box than you’d expect in cars this size.

There’s even room for storage under the cargo floor. And Scion xB has an additional small storage space under the floor.

Available accessories really enhance Scion’s versatility. They include a cargo area liner — a cargo net — a cargo cover for the xB — and a roof rack

Scion xA and xB are designed for people on the go, with the versatility to take care of a variety of needs.

(Pause for transition to next segment)

Another big Scion story is Style.

Style and image are very important to Gen-Y consumers. They’re trendsetters, and they want a car that not only looks different, but can be “re-mixed” and personalized.

Both Scion vehicles have polarized styling that’s deliberately out of the mainstream. It’s designed to offer customers a kind of blank canvas they can use as a starting point for personalization.

Scion xA has a design that’s European, Techno, innovative and futuristic.

A strong grille with two horizontal elements adds to its European looks.

European-style side marker lamps in front of the doors work with the turn signals, to let other drivers know the xA’s about to turn.

The large wheel arches and wide door sills might be found on a racing car.

Black side pillars accentuate the xA’s beltline.  That’s the line that separates the door sills from the side windows.

On the xA, it’s slightly raked up toward the rear, to give it the car a muscular look.

A chrome exhaust tip on gives the xA a high-performance touch in the rear.

Orange lighting highlights the storage bin in the xA’s center console whenever the doors are opened.

Scion xB is different. It has a retro, urban and hip-hop look, with lots of 90-degree angles.

It’s the larger vehicle, with a wheelbase that’s a little over 5 inches longer than Scion xA’s.

The xB’s grille has thinner horizontal elements, with the Scion logo in between them.

Ground effects include build-in front fascia, body-side rocker panels, and rear valence. They add to xB’s looks and help improve its aerodynamics.

Fender-mounted turn signals enhance the xB’s urban styling.

Privacy glass enhances the xB’s urban looks and helps keep the interior cool.

The xB has a tall body with a high seating position that makes it easy to get into and out of.

The xB’s speedometer is mounted on top of the dash and offset slightly toward the driver, to make it easy to read without taking your eyes off the road.

Both xA and xB have multi-reflector halogen headlights with a trapezoid shape.

Honeycomb front air openings on both vehicles add a unique performance look.

Amber turn signals on both vehicles set them apart from other vehicles on the road.

The instruments, audio system and the heating, ventilation and air conditioning controls are centered and stacked vertically. It’s a friendly arrangement that lets all the passengers see the information display, not just the driver.

Most cars are driver-centered. Scion is both driver and passenger-centered.

Stylized black-on-white gauges have high visibility, and amber lighting in both Scions gives the instrument panel a sporty look at night — and it’s easy on the eyes.

Metallic-like trim on the instrument panel, the steering wheel, and doors adds a touch of sophistication.

Scion customers can choose from six exterior colors and three wheel cover designs on each vehicle to personalize their cars.

Each vehicle shares a six-spoke wheel cover as a common wheel cover choice.  There are also two wheel cover choices that are unique to each vehicle.

On the xA, there’s a five-spoke or a six-spoke twist.

On the xB, there’s a seven-spoke or a nine-spoke wheel cover.

When it comes to personalizing a vehicle’s style, Scion is in a class by itself.  There are enough Scion styling accessories for customers to create any look they want.

(Pause for transition to next segment)

Generation-Y wants great audio, lots of versatility, and innovative styling, all in a package they can personalize. But they don’t want to sacrifice safety to get all these things.

With Scion, they don’t have to — because Scion has a great safety story to tell. It’s another important part of Toyota’s DNA that Scion shares.

Scion vehicles are equipped with an incredible array of safety features.

Let’s start with passive safety features. They help protect the driver and passengers if there’s a collision.

Both Scions are equipped with driver and front-passenger airbags — along with 3-point seatbelts and headrests at all seating positions.

Front and rear crumple zones help absorb the energy of a front or rear collision.

Side-impact door beams help protect the occupants during a side collision.

An energy-absorbing steering column helps reduce driver injury in a frontal collision.

Scion also offers a couple of key safety features for customers with young families.

The LATCH system stands for Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children. It includes anchors and attachment points for child seats in all three rear-seat positions.

Child-protector rear door locks help keep kids from opening the rear doors from inside.

Remember, there’s one factory-installed option on Scion xA — side airbags and side curtain airbags.

In a severe side collision, the side airbags help protect the torsos of the driver and front passenger.

The side-curtain airbags on the xA help protect the heads of all the front and rear outboard occupants.

These features are rare on vehicles in this class.

Now let’s look at some of Scion’s active safety features. They help keep the driver from having an accident in the first place.

Both Scions come standard with anti-lock brakes with Electronic Brake force Distribution, or EBD. ABS helps the driver keep control of the steering during hard braking, by preventing the brakes from locking up.

EBD automatically optimizes the braking power that’s needed at each wheel whenever the driver hits the brakes, based on the weight distribution in the vehicle — depending on how many passengers or how much cargo it’s carrying.

Scion xB comes standard with three more active safety features — starting with Brake Assist.  In a panic braking situation that’s not severe enough to trigger the ABS, it adds to the brake force.

The xB is also equipped with Toyota’s Vehicle Stability Control, plus the TRAC electronic traction control system.

Vehicle Stability Control helps the driver keep control during cornering in difficult conditions, like icy roads or patches of sand. It uses the computer electronics of the ABS to help reduce skids.

A similar system isn’t usually found on vehicles until you hit the mid-$20,000 price range.

The TRAC system uses the ABS sensors to determine when one of the front wheels is slipping. Then it controls the engine power and the brakes to help control wheel spin.

All these active safety systems work so smoothly and quickly that the whole process is pretty much invisible to the driver.

And remember, these passive and active features all come standard on the xA, or the xB, or both — except for the optional factory-installed side airbags and side curtain airbags on Scion xA.

Fog lights are an available accessory for both Scions.  They mount in the factory bumper knockouts, to help increase visibility in bad weather and at night.

You can’t find a mix of safety features like these on cars priced as low as Scion xA and xB.  When it comes to safety, Scion customers get a lot of value.

(Pause for transition to next segment)

They’ll also discover that their Scions are fun to drive. What exactly makes a car fun to drive?  Usually, it’s things like responsiveness, handling, and a smooth ride. In other words, a car that does what you want when you want it to.

Both Scions are based on a common world platform. Both have the same engine, transmission, suspension, and other key components. Think of them as siblings — very different on the outside, but with a lot in common under the skin.

When you talk about fun-to-drive, it’s not just power that counts, but where that power is available. When customers get behind the wheel of a Scion, they’ll discover how good the acceleration is from 3200 to 4000 RPM.

The torque kicks in exactly where you need it to get you going — and then the horsepower takes over at higher RPMs, for acceleration when you’re up to speed, like passing on the highway.

Another thing about power . . . It’s not really as important as power-to-weight ratio — because power isn’t much good if you’ve got a lot of weight to haul around.

Scion’s engine is equipped with Variable Valve Timing with intelligence. VVT-i varies the intake timing according to driving conditions. It helps the engine run efficiently and gives a large-engine feel to a small engine.

The independent front MacPherson strut front suspension and the torsion beam rear suspension with coil springs are tuned for a sporty, fun-to-drive feel.

Power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering is designed with a quick steering ratio, that adds to Scion’s sporty handling feel.

Transmissions are another one of the four choices that Scion offers customers. They can choose a 5-speed manual or a 4-speed automatic.

Both Scion transmissions have shortened gear ratios designed to improve low-end acceleration, which is great for stop-and-start city driving.

The standard 15-inch all-season radial tires on both Scions are designed for fun driving in all conditions.

Both Scions have short wheelbases, with tight turning diameters.  That makes them easier to U-turn and park on narrow city streets.

Remember all those interior sound-dampening materials I told you about in Scion’s audio story?  They also make a Scion quiet inside — fun to drive and fun to be in.

Two key Scion accessories make both vehicles even more fun to drive.

The front strut tower brace links the MacPherson strut suspension towers, to stiffen the chassis and make the handling even crisper and sportier.

Scion’s available cold air intake boosts the horsepower, adds a throaty sound to the engine, and dresses up the engine bay with its chrome finish. Customers will like its performance and its looks.

With all these standard features, choices, and available accessories, Scion is tuned and equipped for a fun-to-drive experience.

(Pause for transition to wrapup)

Generation-Y does their homework before they shop, and they can be very demanding. When it comes to buying a vehicle, they want great audio, tons of versatility, personalized styling, upscale safety features, and a fun-to-drive experience.

They’ll get all that and more in a Scion.