One from the box

Scion looks to the ’50s, writes NEIL McDON­ALD about Toy­ota’s planned youth brand

Herald Sun - Motoring - - News -

IT IS widely known that Toy­ota Aus­tralia is ex­tremely keen to have a Gen Y ‘‘youth brand’’ to slot into its al­ready bulging lineup, and the Scion Hako Coupe Con­cept could rep­re­sent such a fu­ture.

Scion is al­ready well es­tab­lished in the US, and Toy­ota used the New York Mo­tor Show to push the bound­aries of its bud­get brand.

The funky con­cept car was de­vel­oped by the Tokyo De­sign Di­vi­sion, which stud­ied youth-in­spired trends around the world.

Toy­ota says Ja­panese and US youth cul­tures of­ten in­flu­ence each other, and th­ese are in­ter­preted with a unique twist.

The Hako was in­spired by the iconic Scion xB and the emer­gence of US vin­tage style among young Tokyo trendsetters.

‘‘It em­bod­ies a dis­tinct global per­spec­tive on to­day’s youth,’’ Scion vice-pres­i­dent Jack Hol­lis says.

‘‘This type of for­ward think­ing com­ple­ments the Scion phi­los­o­phy of in­tently lis­ten­ing to our cus­tomers and be­ing will­ing to take risks to help us see where our brand should be.

‘‘We took the xB’s boxy shape and ex­plored some­thing more vi­va­cious, yet just as emo­tion­ally ap­peal­ing.

‘‘This con­cept is the sporty ver­sion of a box,’’ Hol­lis says.

It is no sur­prise the car looks very much like a US hot-rod cruiser from the 1950s.

It’s flat roof, small glass area and geo­met­ric profile con­veys a pow­er­ful stance in a com­pact and bold pack­age.

Trape­zoidal LED head­lights lie in par­al­lel with a large and ag­gres­sive, rec­tan­gu­lar grille and prom­i­nent bon­net bulge. A lower rec­tan­gu­lar grille, 18-inch al­loys and flared mud­guards give the car an ag­gres­sive at­ti­tude.

Round fog lights, sym­met­ri­cally placed high on the front bumper, have in­te­grated turn sig­nals.

The Hako’s sil­hou­ette is ac­cen­tu­ated by slim, race-car-in­spired rearview mir­rors. Inside, there is a bright orange colour scheme with metal­lic high­lights.

The deeply scal­loped sports seats are cov­ered with ure­thane and rub­ber-like up­hol­stery for easy clean­ing, flow to the floor and in­cor­po­rate a geo­met­ric de­sign on the seat­back.

An un­usual fea­ture are the door­mounted video mon­i­tors.

Th­ese project dis­torted fish-eye images from orange fil­tered cam­eras mounted in the rear-view mir­rors.

When the car is sta­tion­ary they also dis­play pho­tos loaded from your fam­ily album and stored on the car’s hard drive.

Hot rod: the flat roof gives the Scion Hako Coupe Con­cept a retro look.

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