New York Auto Show 2008 — Scion Hako Coupe Concept
You have to look long and hard to find a more difficult job than designing future Scion products. In its short life, Scion has raced to the forefront of Gen Y desirability. From zero to 173,000 units in just 4 years. Toyota Motor Sales claims the Scion brand to have a median buyer age of just 30 years old, which makes it the youngest brand in the United States. From the same group of people who bring us the Camry and Avalon, both standards for Boomer buyers, but neither evoking a youthful image.
However, life in Toyota’s Gen Y experiment is not so rosy right now. 2007 sales stalled, and 2008 is not showing a rebound. According to Scion, the sales dip was caused by a slow ramp up and transition to the current generation xB and xD. Some analysts grumble that the xB was redesigned to meet the needs of older buyers, turning off the original target. Regardless, the coming months will be very interesting. The heat is on.
Looking for a positive reaction, Scion unveiled its Hako Coupe Concept vehicle at a press conference today at the New York International Auto Show. Developed by Tokyo Design Division, The Hako Coupe Concept was inspired by the xB and the “emergence of American vintage style among young Tokyo trendsetters”. While interesting, this trend is not new.
Starting with the xB’s iconic boxy shape the Hako has a virtually vertical front windshield, which gives the vehicle the look of the Munster’s family car. In profile, it’s pretty bold. A high beltline, blacked out greenhouse and rear pillars give the roofline the look of a reverse cantilever. Architectural. In a trend that is getting tired, tiny video side mirrors include integrated turn signals. Large flared fenders give the vehicle an aggressive stance. It appears that the front track is slightly wider than the rear. Weird, but a little cool given the vehicles unique look. Trapezoidal headlight and tail lamps and 18” wheels complete the menacing look. The coolest design feature is a flat, panorama roof that features a barcode-like pattern that can be seen on the exterior and from the interior.
The gaming themed interior includes screens, a joystick, a start button, and a trackball. The future owner will likely be able to play driving games instead of, uuh, driving. We’re definitly too old to understand Gen Y.
“As you know, polarizing style fits in well with our lineup,” said Jack Hollis, vice president of Scion. “And of course we love a good box. We’ll listen to the feedback from this concept to help us determine how our brand could evolve and grow over the next five years.”