Scion Is Dead. Long Live Toyota

Following a day of speculation, it’s official: Scion is no more.

It’s no secret that the Toyota subsidiary has been doing it tough with down-trending sales in recent years, but the official announcement made this morning by Toyota Motor North America’s CEO Jim Lentz, still comes as a surprise given that Scion only recently added two new models to its line-up. So what went wrong?


Of course, Scion’s official press release paints the picture of a brand that achieved everything it set out to do, namely attracting younger buyers over to Toyota. That kicked off in 2003 with the boxy first-generation xB, a left-hand drive, slightly re-specced variant of the JDM Toyota bB.


The tC sports coupe, built on the Toyota Avensis platform, followed in 2005 and went on to become Scion’s biggest seller. But according to Scion, its target customers’ wants and needs have been changing over the years, and now’s the time to transition them back to Toyota.


But others blame Scion’s demise on a lack of support from its parent company, and some say the model line-up remained stagnant for far too long even though there was plenty of potential waiting to be exploited. Either way, you could say that the writing’s been on the wall for a while, despite production versions of the iM (pictured above) and iA being revealed less than 12 months ago.


But regardless of the reasons why the brand is being resigned to the automotive history books after 13 just years, the current range – or at least the majority of it – is set to continue, albeit with Toyota badges rather than Scion ones affixed front and rear; as they have always been in other markets. The Scion FR-S will simply become the Toyota FR-S.


According to Scion, the tC will have one final Release Series edition before it goes the way of the second generation xB, while the C-HR – Scion’s long-awaited crossover model which was recently shown in concept form at the LA Auto Show and dubbed the brand’s “next icon”, will continue to be developed by Toyota.


What will become of Scion’s motorsport endeavours remains to be seen though. Hopefully Toyota can pick up where Scion Racing will leave off.


Given their versatility and wide scope for modification and customization, there have been no shortage of Scion vehicles showcased on Speedhunters since the very beginning; from those created purely for visual impact…

Scion_Super-Lap-Battle-14-203-copy 2

To full-blown competition machines.


We even built one of our own to win the 2015 Scion Tuner Challenge.

Toyota_TAS2016-09 2

Whether you think it’s sad to see the Scion name go, or you’re of the opinion that the division should never have been set up in the first place, we can all be safe in the knowledge that Toyota is still committed to producing cars with enthusiasts in mind, as evidenced by its show of force at the recent 2016 Tokyo Auto Salon. Hopefully, models like the S-FR do make it into production, and then offered in regions outside of Japan – including North America.

But now it’s your turn; tell us where you think Scion got it right and wrong, and if you’re a past or present owner of a modified xB, xA, xD, tC, or any other variant, feel free to share photos of it with us in the comments section below.

The Speedhunters

Photos: Scion & Speedhunters Archive



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Kind of silly, but I've always said that I could never buy a frs due to the fact that it had scion badges on it. Good move.


earmenau i feel you man. i can't pull the trigger on any ferrari because the prancing horse logo. ffs!


Toyota got it wrong by introducing Scion in the first place. "We're going to sell quirky vehicles to kids"....what the hell kind of business model is that? I'm happy to see the brand go, and happier to see the FRS get a proper badge on the hood. Scion! Sounds like a shitty night club.
Moving on to more important matters, WHAT WILL AASBO USE FOR FORMULA D IN 2016!?!?!?! I've heard a rumor about a big body Lexus (drool!!), and in his last article on here, I'm pretty sure he said something about a "big change" for '16.
C'mon, give us a freaking clue!!


Sad to See the Brand go. My xB sure is a great daily driver


Gonna miss the scion brand my 1st car i bought was a 07 tc (still wish i had it but i moved on to a 240sx) i blame toyota for scion failing and also the steady increasing prices and lack of edgy new designs the 2 new scions the im and ia? Are just plan boring idk if they even make a new xb if they do then i cant tell if its newer then the older ones the new tc have getten fat plasticy and look like theyre designed by some one armed with a ruler no curves to the car and more... and the frs is cool i guess and do they make the iq still?


Man, hate to see the brand go like that. 
Had high hopes for them, seeing the newest popping out...guess it wasn't meant to be.


@jessie earmenau ikr, because spending 3k more for a BRZ was too expensive I suppose.


@jessie Yeah, let's compare scion to ferrari. SMH.


Speedhunters I thought the GT86 was a spiritual successor to the AE86, then they go change the name to Toyota FRS. Anyway, I'll miss Scion.


Sad to see the brand going down like that. But apart from the xB and tC, European have access to rest of the line-up. The FR-S is branded as the Toyota GT86, the iM is a Toyota Auris (The EUDM Corolla Hatchback, really good looking car :) ) & the iA is a Mazda 3 Sedan. But I've heard that production of the tC will be shut down, is that officialy confirmed?


SProductionsS13 Speedhunters I don't think that they will use the FR-S name, I guess they will rebadge it as GT86 like in the rest of the world.


Having such retarded model names can't have helped.....


It's sad to see Scion go, I always liked the brand :(

R.I.P. Scion


earmenau So what exactly do you have against Scion? Cool brand, cool cars. Sad to see it go


See you again ,Scion.


Speedhunters NeedforSpeed ScionRacing the best


hcram39 earmenau Nothing in particular. I'm not saying scion is a bad brand, I'm just saying it's not a particularly "cool" brand. If you're definition of cool, is an edgy economy car marketed towards young children, than I'm so sorry, but you are just not that cool.

& if you're happy that we got scion frs, rather than a toyota gt86... then may god help you.

ps, it's just downright appalling that you have to explain these types of things to scion owners. Like, never in a million years would you have to sit there and explain to a hyundai, or kia owner that there car isn't that cool. Like really, this guy uses a ferrari analogy in his rebuttal... lmao


Speedhunters NeedforSpeed ScionRacing scion The best forever!


Always be my Best  favorite car forever as Scion ☺


Re-badged Toyotas (or based upon) with watered down styling to suit the tastes of the North American mass market. Sorry internet, am I missing something?


earmenau hcram39

I'm neither american or a Scion owner. I'm from Finland and I just like Scions. The guy is totally right and maybe you should get off your high horse and stop mocking other people's cars. To make this simple:

Do you think the Hyundai Genesis Coupe is not cool?
Do you think the Cee'd GT is not cool?
Do you think the Scion xB is not cool?

If you don't like these cars, I don't mind it but you could at least appreciate them and the fact that not everyone can afford supercars and cars don't need to be expencive to be 'cool'.




man car culture is dying fast in america. first there's nissan, with only 2 performance models, both of them out of reach of the average enthusiast, then honda, which no RWD sports car, though i admit, the civic is still fun, and then now there's toyota. all their cars are boring lifeless lumps that just have no soul, and they killed off scion, their sporty brand.. it's almost enough to say a prius is fun to drive. honestly what is wrong with car manufacturers these days. sure you have to deal with all these emissions restrictions, but that doesn't mean you choke cars of their performance. let there be some fun models. like ford does. ford has fun models, like the cheap mustang and fiesta ecoboost, and they are still good.


earmenau hcram39 
"if you're happy that we got scion frs, rather than a toyota gt86... then may god help you."
Im happy that we got a rear wheel drive sports car that is fun to drive.. i guess god is helping me because i dont really care what badge is on it. you could just de-badge the car if your that concerned with a brands reputation and how that some how projects on to you as if you were not an individual, but just a shill for the companies you purchased things from.....


I wonder who's gonna be the first person in Japan to swap Toyota badges back on to their 86 after they put Scion badges on it two years ago so they can hit that next level of USDM?


awesomefearwave the toyota frs is purdy sporty. And fun. And accessible for ugaiz.


Though I've never owned a Scion (my only two cars have been a 92 Accord and an 02 RSX), I always thought it was a cool brand. When I read the article title I was kinda saddened. But to know that the models will continue on, I don't care so much. Personally I've always hated that manufacturers have to create sub-brands just to attract a certain demographic. Lexus/Acura/Infiniti badges are particular annoyances for me knowing half the owners don't know they're driving something as 'lowly' as a Toyota, etc, and walk around like their shit don't stink.


None of them, have you seen the amount of datsun badged nissans there are? or even how many Porsche parts end up on VW's.... Repping other parts of a manufacturers portfolio (defunct or otherwise....) is never going to go away. It's an intrinsic part of car culture I would say.


There should be a Microphone drop emoji.


I'm a little bit sad about it, since I remember being excited when the brand first came out. I always loved seeing what new customs they'd debut from time to time as well. I do kind of agree with the article though: Toyota really just started mailing it in with Scion, and none of their more recent models (FRS aside) really compared to the first generation xB, xA, and tC.


Delta_s4 that was my thought, a debadged toyota is now toyota again? no real loss


I said this elsewhere but, the part of Scion I'll miss most is their particular style of guerrilla marketing. Right off the bat they too the brand to the streets and to the people they wanted to sit in them. Actively promoting customization to their customers to make the car theirs and theirs alone. 

Sadly we will lose some of the excitement that Scion promised but while it came out swinging, it's sort of been on FRS life support for the past few years.


never liked scion. xA was something else and xB was ok too but i honestly felt like scion was built with cheesy modification in mind. IMO xB was really the only one out of xA,xB and tC that still looks alright by todays standards. the frs is a really nice car and i am happy to see they are going to keep it in production. i can respect toyota for trying to give us tuners something to buy brand new. sorry for their loss but keep up to great work toyota.


Can north america please just call it the gt86 too.


what will fredric aasbo drive?!


You guys have poor reading comprehension. No where did I say a car has to be expensive to be cool, or that you need a cool car to enjoy it. Just saying, scions aren't cool, and if you say otherwwise it's probably because you have one. That's like me saying Corollas are cool cars. The frs is the spiritual successor to the ae86, and so should have been badged as such just like everywhere else in the world. Sorry, I just think it's weird we're here on speed hunters and everyone's all into scions and hyundais.


IMO it all started when they strayed away from the original xb design.  The safer second generation design was a big mistake.  It strayed away from their original plan of encouraging younger drivers into their brand... Ironically even after the xb initially came out I saw far more old people driving them than young people.  I guess kids have a big say into what their parents drive!  I say all this as a former xb owner... 1st and 2nd gen.


bearclaw_18 the only difference would be the lhd. There may be mechanical differences im unaware of. Its not like people dont already swap the scion badges for toyota ones and say they have a gt86. Even seen some people go as far as to rhd swap to make it convincing which is kinda pointless imo. might as well import a gt86 instead of going though all that work


CharlesChris15 bearclaw_18 I just like the name better haha


TarmacTerrorist I agree with your point although that's not quite what I was getting at.


R.I.P. I will miss you Scion... Thanks for all the friends I made through the year as a Scion Owner


Twitch_6 He's going to use his current Scion tC. Why would he change cars a few months before the season starts. Hardly enough time to prepare a competitive car anyway. He already has a car, doesn't matter if Scion drop out. Papadakis Racing completely rebuilt the car and they are to be pushing 1000HP this year with the four banger


earmenau You must own a Corolla


butterballs Scion tC


@CMCurtis, I'm just going off of what he said here on SH, that he was making a change for 2016...that was a while ago thoigh, so maybe plans changed.


In italy (and honestly I believe in every European country since there's no Scion) it is already sold as Toyota gt 86.


CMCurtis butterballs He means when the company dies...


@mememe Delta_s4 So if Infiniti died you wouldn't care?


IskiSenna awesomefearwave i get it it's good but that's like it. everything else is still stupid boring to drive. i miss when toyota had fun models like the mr2, the supra, the chaser (never sold in america, but still fun), and the celica.


Speaking of the Celica. It's a missed opportunity to rename the TC, the Celica.


santablob i mean they should just bring back the tC as a new gen Celica. I think the tC fits the Celica as a replacement pretty well.


Man, that is a shame! I thought the first edition xA was pretty sweet looking but given my 6'4" frame, and my little peeps and related gear to haul, I never entertained owning one. The xB first incarnation was a toaster on wheels to me. Then a deer decided to put an end to my minivan. I was looking for a used car to tide me over - one roomy enough for my tall frame and to carry my peeps and gear and happened upon a 2nd gen xB. I absolutely love it! Handles like a sports car (keeping in mind I've been driving a small SUV and a minivan for quite a few years), has gobs of room, and holds my now quite a bit larger peeps, and gear! I'm a fan for life! So sad it took me this long to join the party. I hope Toyota adopts some of the orphaned models into their lineup - most particularly the xB! I'd like to own one for the rest of my life!


Since most if not all of the cars will continue it's not such a big deal, unless you are a dousche and need to find another brand to act out with, I'm talking to you TC drivers....every one of you.


Jbrady43 CMCurtis butterballs A Toyota TC, or the same gen Scion TC that he uses currently. They aren't discontinuing the models it seems, but rebadging them. The real question is if Toyota will take over sponsorships.


When they stopped offering factory-installed superchargers it was clear that the dream was dead.


Yeah exactly. It's front wheel drive, it's 2 doors, and Fwd just like the Celica was. It would give them an entry into that sporty fwd market where the Civic coupe is.


Did Mike Garrett write the title? lol. That sounds like him.


@bkishaan Jbrady43 CMCurtis butterballs the scion tc will discontinue as well


JPRedhead iA is based on the Mazda 2 for crying out loud


PowerTryp They marketted it that way, and put out boring cars with the exception of the FRS and the xB. The FRS you can get from Toyota and Subaru so who cares about the Scion badge, and the xB lost anyuthing cool with their 2nd iteration. The Kia Soul murdered the xB and for good reason.


for me it was always pointless, Toyota is brand for Grandpas in US that they have to separate another brand?  If Lexus is Toyota for rich people, what Scion was? Brand for poor people?
It was always only badge for me, and I always liked Original, japanese Toyota names. Altezza is the best example.
Don't know the dealership issues and so on, but can't they just sell them at toyotas showrooms?


I work at a Toyota Dealer. The writing has been on the wall since the 2008 crash. Having two separate dealer networks and all the necessary separate support logistics is just too inefficient and not cost effective. It only works when the economy is plush. Regardless the FRS is a big hit and a badge change is not going to affect that. 

And in actuality, with our dealer being an example, we had Toyota and Scion in the same building, and it's been that way since '08. So it will be just the emblem change for dealers like ours.


Twitch_6 No what he said was 2016 was more HP (1000) with the tC engine and he said a new car in 2017


Jbrady43 Delta_s4 This is a different hypothetical as Infiniti have their own design language and are in effect Nissan's luxury arm. In that way Infiniti is more similar to Lexus and not Scion.


I've never really understood the point of scion. I don't live in america but don't understand why you would have two subsidiaries effectively manufacturing the same product.


HLB TarmacTerrorist ah, the internet, written word can be a real bitch to understand sometimes! sorry!


it's almost ironic......... you state that Scion has grown stagnant..... when Toyota gave THEM the best sports car they've created in years.... AND IT'S POWERED AND BUILT BY SUBARU! It's Toyota that's stagnant!!!

boring.... across the board - until the "concept car" that still hasn't come


Just this morning Scion announced the FR-S Release 2.0, just like everything was normal.


I would love to see Toyota pick up the tc and sell it as an AWD version in the US much like they do in Japan...


That's a nice bowler hat


TimAukamp They don't sell tC in Japan and there never was an AWD tC. They used to make AWD Toyota Avensis, which uses the same platform as the tC. Trust me, you don't want Avensis


I bought a Gen2 XB new from the lot and it was a great experience. In 6 years, all I did was routine maintenance and it ran (and still does) great. It turned 150K mi recently and will likely go as many more. Say what you will about the look, the name, the offshoot of a bigger brand, but some of the cars were winners.


It's always going to be tough to maintain a sub brand that is only available in one country. Toyota is a world company and unless it was going to be able to make Scion a world brand like Lexus it's demise would not come as a suprise.
On top of that it's pretty hard to put things up as unique to a brand when they are badge engineered or mildly made over. Most of the Scion products were marketed as Toyota elsewhere in the world (XB, FRS, IM). Lexus has destinctive products for their brand whereas Scion had badging and bodykits.

I think the original idea was a good one but if Toyota was serious about a youth brand they should have backed themselves by building a world brand enabling them to have unique products for their target market.


I can't see the point in a brand like scion... They're just rebadged toyotas ( most of em) so what does it matter if it gets closed down, just to be re-rebadged as a toyota which it already was in the first place.. and wont rhe scion fr-s just be replaced by the gt86, instead of toyota keeping the frs name?


Sometimes I feel like Scion was that weird uncle that wore bleached jeans and a visor in 2003 for the next thirteen years to try to fit in with his cool kid nephews, but never got to hang out with them once.


IRONWOLF RD "How do you do fellow kids?"  :D


I'm not exactly sad to see them go-- I am surprised, however. There was a lot of hype behind the new 86. I never saw this day coming.


One price shopping doesn't work for me. Possibly there others that feel the same way.


Wouldn't the The Scion Fr-s Become the Toyota 86 because that is what it is everywhere else???


They always told me they were busy


i think they failed since it took them close to 10 years to release a rear wheel drive car....


The FRS really had a good beginning for the driver who want control of their machine. For me all of the 
Hype it was getting (a convertible, rework of the body for 2016)  the promises for 2016 was just a sham for what was really happening to the FRS and Scion.  The 2016 did not even have LED running lights......Not sure if they even got that hokey Navigation working.  My 2013 required an Iphone  to run an application and worked; not well until I upgraded my Iphone.  I guess Toyota and Apple just couldn't get it together and no compatibility for my remaining 2 years owning the car.  Then came the Monogram Series which no one really knew about long enough to find one. The Monogram Series I believe was to be the 2016 release and it failed to happen.  I tried for 9 months to find one. 
While at Subaru the BRZ had all of the Monogram options since 2013.  What the F----. Scion/Toyota what ever.


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