Scion's Conservative Coupe Surprises

The funky style that has come to define Scion in its mere seven months on the market in one state is conspicuously absent from the third vehicle Toyota Motor Corp.'s new youth brand has launched. The tC sport coupe more resembles a small version of the BMW 3-Series than Scion's popular, boxy xB or quirky xA hatchback. Scion Vice President Jim Farley admits he's nervous about critical reception of

The funky style that has come to define Scion in its mere seven months on the market in one state is conspicuously absent from the third vehicle Toyota Motor Corp.'s new youth brand has launched.

The tC sport coupe more resembles a small version of the BMW 3-Series than Scion's popular, boxy xB or quirky xA hatchback.

Scion Vice President Jim Farley admits he's nervous about critical reception of the conservative styling. But he's confident that the young, hip target customers are more attracted to streamlined, luxury- and European-influenced coupes than wild and edgy design.

The tC is based on a European-market platform that's new to the U.S. The tC is powered by the 2.4L 4-cyl engine also found in the Toyota Camry midsize sedan.

The coupe incorporates some interesting features including an all-glass, retractable roof and a hatchback. Hatchbacks, shunned by many Baby Boomers, are popular with Scion's targeted Generation Y set.

Sales of 10,898 units in Scion's seven months on the market in California exceeded targets of 10,000 units. Some 75% of buyers are new to Toyota, with half under age 35. The consumer group is 57% male.

The xA and xB roll out to the East Coast, Southeast and Gulf states in February. When Scion's trio launch nationally in June, 730 Toyota dealers (60% of the dealer body) will carry the brand.

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