Scion Updates May Include Redesigned xB in 2015

Just the Facts:
  • Scion is expected to introduce a redesigned xB hatchback in 2015 and is considering the development of a sporty four-door sedan based on the Scion FR-S coupe.
  • While Scion did not confirm those plans, it says it will have a blend of upgrades to its current lineup and "at least one new model."
  • Special editions and packages on existing models are also in the works.

TORRANCE, California — Scion is expected to introduce a redesigned xB hatchback in 2015 and is considering the development of a sporty four-door sedan based on the FR-S coupe, Edmunds has learned.

A key question is whether Subaru, which co-developed the FR-S with Toyota, will agree to the deal, says an industry source familiar with Scion's product program.

Scion has been "pushing hard for a sedan variant of the FR-S, but Subaru has been dragging its heels on it," said a source who asked not to be identified. Subaru's version of the coupe is the BRZ.

The rear-drive FR-S and BRZ, 2+2 coupes that went on sale here in 2012, have been praised by the automotive press. The vehicle is marketed as the FR-S by Scion in the United States and by Toyota as the 86, GT86 and FT86 in other regions of the world.

Scion wants to sell the sedan version here beginning in 2016, the source said, but Toyota's other global regions likely would have to buy into the proposal to make a business case.

In the meantime, Scion's next new model will arrive sooner.

"In the next two calendar years, we will have a blend of both upgrades to the products we have in the market and at least one new model," Scion's Doug Murtha told Edmunds in a phone interview. The new model will arrive in "calendar year 2015, and it will be either model year 2015 or 2016. It will certainly not be a 2017 model."

Murtha is vice president of Toyota Motor Sales' Scion Division.

Earlier this month, a Toyota executive told Edmunds that the automaker was "looking at a three-year window on a couple of products that we hope come to fruition." The implication was the next redesigned Scion model would not appear until the 2017 model year. In addition, the implication was that little would be done to alter current Scion models until redesigns appear.

"I think we are going to do some different things with packages on the existing models, special editions," Murtha said. "As you know Scion has a history of doing some Release Series products, kind of limited runs of upgrades and special content."

In addition to the FR-S and xB, Scion markets the iQ three-door hatchback, tC coupe and xD five-door hatchback.

Neither Murtha nor the Toyota executive would say what new models or redesigns are planned for the Scion lineup in the coming years. Asked if the xB or the xD will be replaced in 2015, Murtha said "they are the logical candidates."

However, the industry source told Edmunds the xB is the vehicle that will be redesigned, arriving in 2015. Scion is looking at two different five-door hatchbacks that will be sold in the Japanese market, one smaller than the other model. Both cars have been engineered to meet U.S safety and emissions regulations, the source said.

Toyota is expected to reach a decision sometime next spring, the source said.

Edmunds says: Lots of activity going on behind the scenes at Scion.

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