2007 Chicago Auto Show: Scion’s 2008 xB and xD
- February 9, 2007
- New Model Introductions, Scion, Toyota
- Posted by George Peterson
- Comments Off on 2007 Chicago Auto Show: Scion’s 2008 xB and xD
Introduction Simulcast on SecondLife.com
While Scion Vice President, Mark Templin, was presenting the new xB and xD to media at the Chicago auto show, his alter-personality at secondlife.com (called an avatar) was doing the same. SecondLife.com is an online world that started in 2003 and is now “inhabited” by 3.4 million people globally, and this is the first vehicle introduction simulcast in this online world. Secondlife.com is another way to communicate with people who need transportation once they return to the physical world and automotive manufacturers are taking notice. This is especially relevant for Scion, a brand with an average buyer at only 30 years old and an owner base that is probably the most plugged in of all.
2008 xB and xD Take Over from First xB and xA
Scion was first envisioned as a line of cars with single lifecycles, though a box is expected to be a staple of the brand. Following this plan, the second-generation xB and the new xD were introduced at the 2007 Chicago auto show. xD takes the showroom space previously occupied by the xA. The xB arrives in dealers in April 2007 and the xD in August.
xB Inspired by t2B Concept
The xB is significantly larger than the first generation but remains true to its boxy shape philosophy. It looks much like the t2B concept shown at the 2005 New York auto show. Helping to move the larger product is the tC’s 2.4L I4, delivering 158HP for the xB, and a five-speed manual transmission. (A four-speed automatic is optional.) Sixteen-inch wheels are standard, with optional wheel covers shared with xD. xB’s new design includes turn indicators integrated into the side mirrors.
The additional size means a bigger interior. Rear seats fold 60/40, and the front seats fully recline. Driver information gauges are centered on the dash, and include a readout that can be toggled through clock, exterior temperature, MPG (average or instant), distance to empty, and average speed.
xD Based on the Toyota Yaris
Last year, Toyota launched the three-door hatchback and four-door sedan Yaris. This year comes the Scion xD five-door hatchback using the same platform. Among the differences is the xD’s 128HP 1.8L DOHC 16v I4, versus Yaris’s (and xA’s) 105HP 1.5L engine. Standard transmission is a five-speed manual, with a four-speed automatic optional.
Based on the Yaris it may be, the xD gets a completely different interior and takes Scion design elements. Though xB moved its gauges to the center, the xD keeps its instrument panel in front of the driver. xD’s rear seats fold 60/40, recline ten degrees, and can be adjusted into five different positions. Storage spaces are plentiful, including a hidden space under the rear cargo area and a tray below the steering wheel.
Skins for Your Audio LCD. Though standard on the xB and optional for the xD, there’s an upgraded Pioneer audio system, with standard audio mini jack and iPod connectivity. One of the cool new features is the ability to download images, four-second video clips, or eight-second movies from the Pioneer website to be shown in the LCD faceplate. The Pioneer software allows for customers to load their own images and movies from a CD as well. xD’s standard system still includes iPod and MP3 player connectivity, with track and artist’s names showing on the head unit screen. Both the standard xD radio and the shared unit allow for connected players to be controlled through the steering wheel audio controls.
One Trim Level, Lots of Accessories
xB and xD are monospec vehicles, though customizable through a dizzying series of accessories and options. Even the standard cars are well equipped, and both include standard power steering, windows, and locks; air conditioning; remote keyless entry; ABS with electronic brake distribution and brake assist; six airbags (driver/front passenger, seat-mounted front seat sidebags, and front and rear side curtain bags); stability and traction control; and steering-wheel mounted controls.