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Toyota Launches Japanese Version of Scion xB

The Scion xB was launched in the USA in 2003 first in California, then the Southeast and finally nationally. The xB has been a pleasant sales surprise for Scion and Toyota Motor Sales, USA. In fact the Spartan xA hatchback was projected to outsell the xB by a wide margin and the reverse happened. Interestingly, when first images of the xB were released VehicleVoice ( research and AutoPacific ( forecasts projected that xB would be more of a success than predicted by Toyota itself.
Scion XB Blog.jpg
Scion xB by Toyota Motor Sales USA
The xB is a rolling box. It is a low-priced people mover with a huge rear seat and little cargo room, but has proved popular with young and old alike.
The Scion concept is to take Toyota vehicles on sale in Japan and sell them in the USA with minimal changes. Originally, each vehicle was to be a one-off. In other words, each Scion would live for only a few years and then be dropped. A new vehicle would be launched that would provide Scion dealers with equal or more volume. In this way, there would be no successor to the xB. Because of the popularity of the xB, there may indeed be a successor.
Launched in 2000 in Japan, Toyota has just released its successor to the bB (xB’s Japanese name). While not as boxy as the present xB, the Japanese bB is clearly evolutionary. It continues the highly space-efficient packaging, if not the funky styling, of the present vehicle.
Toyota bB launched on December 26, 2005 in Japan
If Scion xB continues, expect it to be a mild evolution of the new bB in Japan. But the scary thing is the whimsical description Toyota uses to describe the bB in Japan, “A Car-shaped Music Player that Incorporates Youthful Sensibilities”… WOW!

Here are excerpts from Toyota’s bB Press Release
Toyota Launches Fully Redesigned bB
— “A Car-shaped Music Player” that Incorporates Youthful Sensibilities —

The first-generation bB, launched in 2000, was developed as an individualistic, compact hatchback—a completely new genre. Its sense of presence, apparent at a single glance, and its spacious, comfortable interior suitable for a diverse range of uses proved popular among younger customers.
The new bB retains the strengths of the previous bB and strives to embody the lifestyle of people who want to be surrounded by music everywhere they go, adopting the development theme of “A Car-shaped Music Player” to satisfy the preferences of the younger generation.
With an emphasis on “sound”, “illumination”, and “relaxation”, the new bB seeks to create an interior space in which one can be completely immersed in music. To achieve this, the bB incorporates an audio system that uses the latest in acoustic technology and features interior lighting that flashes in rhythm to the music, while newly developed front seats help create a sense of privacy.
Vehicle Outline
A Creative Interior, Equipped to Enhance the Joy of Music
* With an emphasis on “sound”, “illumination” and “relaxation”, the new bB nurtures an unprecedented feeling of relaxation and establishes a creative interior space for the enjoyment of music.
* The instrument panel employs a large and smooth, stadium-like shape with a subwoofer in the center console and tweeters on both sides, forming a space akin to an enclosed DJ booth.
* Nine speakers are optimally located around the interior—a subwoofer in the center console, and speakers and tweeters in the left and right front doors, instrument panel and front pillars—creating powerful bass tones and the feeling of being surrounded 360 degrees by music in a high-quality sound space.
* Four different audio modes, using surround DSP (digital signal processing) technology, accommodate listener preferences and the situation at hand.
* An input jack facilitates a direct connection with portable music players to input music from a variety of sources.
* Illumination is installed in 11 locations, including around the speakers, and in the cup holders and door trim, and it flashes in rhythm to the music, creating an atmosphere akin to a nightclub or live music concert.
* Three kinds of illumination modes are available to choose from, to accommodate one’s personal preferences and the surrounding environment.
* The newly developed “Mattari-mode seats” (“laid-back” mode seats) in the front not only recline, they sink about 80mm to create a couch-like feeling. This delivers an unprecedented feeling of relaxation and privacy.
Individualistic Styling that Appeals to Youthful Sensibilities
* Based on the Toyota-brand design philosophy “Vibrant Clarity,” an all-new, three-dimensional structure and surface expression are adopted to craft an individualistic form.
* The door profile and front and rear of the vehicle feature contours that create distinctive shadows. The high character lines that form an arc from the front to the rear express a “sensually edgy attitude”. The unique hatchback creates a “wild” atmosphere with a strong sense of presence to express the identity of the bB.
* Although the overall length has been shortened, the wheelbase is extended to create an interior space like that of the previous bB, and there are numerous, highly functional storage spaces.
Brisk Driving and Comfortable Ride
* Brisk and comfortable driving performance and fuel economy are achieved through the use of a newly developed 1.5-liter VVT-i (Variable Valve Timing-intelligent) engine or an improved-output 1.3-liter VVT-i engine and a smooth and responsive, super-intelligent, four-speed automatic transmission, or Super ECT.
* Despite a longer wheelbase, wider wheel tread and wide tires, the minimum turning radius is just 4.9 meters (0.6 meters less than the previous model), greatly improving maneuverability.
* Body rigidity has been increased and vibration-controlling and sound-blocking materials have been optimally installed in various parts of the body to reduce engine noise while driving and vibration while idling.
Outstanding Safety*1 and Environmental Performance
* The GOA (Global Outstanding Assessment) construction has been further evolved to create a body structure that effectively absorbs collision impact. During collision tests, the speed was increased to 55km/h from the previous 50km/h, with collision energy also increased approximately 20%, and the vehicle was subjected to omni-directional, vehicle-to-vehicle collision tests under stricter-than-normal collision standards. Through the use of a body structure that effectively absorbs collision impact, Toyota satisfied all independent targets for survival space and crash dummy injury.
* The pedestrian-injury-lessening body structure has been evolved to further reduce pedestrian head injuries in an effort to achieve one of the highest levels of protection in its class.
* In the event of a rear-end collision, the WIL (Whiplash-injury Lessening) concept has been adopted for the front seats, with added backrest give and the head and back supported to reduce stress on the neck.
* By using Toyota’s original comprehensive environmental impact assessment system known as Eco-VAS (Eco-Vehicle Assessment System), environmental targets were set in the development stage and a life cycle assessment was conducted to allow the reduction of CO2 emissions throughout all stages of the vehicle’s life from production and use to disposal.
* In addition to using materials with superior recycling properties, additional attention has been paid to the environment by, among other means, restricting the emission of VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and reducing the use of substances of environmental concern such as lead, mercury, cadmium and others.
* All vehicles in the series achieve emission levels 75% lower than the 2005 standards under the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport’s Approval System for Low-emission Vehicles. Front-wheel-drive vehicles also efficiently meet the Japanese 2010 fuel efficiency standards*2, qualifying for incentives under the Japanese government’s Green Taxation System.


  • deno| August 30, 2007 at 1:27 pm

    well nice looking at the dam thing i live in the UK how or where or what hell chance of i got to get one 🙁

  • david evans| April 30, 2007 at 2:33 pm

    The marketing people at Toyota who are in charge of the Scion program have been getting a free ride in the press. So-called business writers for even the WSJ just seem to reprint their idiotic press releases. How many times have I read about the xb being an “entry level vehicle” for the 18-25 year age group? Last time I looked the media age of the xb buyer was 32! In other words, these marketing geniuses missed their projected target market by one full generation. I haven’t talked with one Scion dealership that hasn’t said they could sell at least 50% more xbs than they can get. So I read in the news releases how xb production is purposely kept low so a high demand level can be generated due to an “artificially short supply.” Please tell me: what sort of nonsense is that? You’ve got a car sold at a fixed price… therefore a fixed profit. And you make money on every one you sell at both the mfr. and dealer level. And you have the ability to make more and you don’t? This means what you are really creating is an artificially low revenue stream and artificially low profits. I repeat: the people in charge of this marque simply don’t have the smarts it takes to pass a freshman marketing course.
    The xb has a lot going for it: 1.) styling (those of us who own xbs are in love with the look, I assure you) 2.) superior performance with absolutely wonderful fuel economy. 3.) Tremendous interior efficiency. 4.) Handling that approaches that of the best sports cars on the road. So what is Scion/Toyota’s next amazing step? Well, my Scion dealer tells me the engine will be bigger and the fuel economy will suffer as a result. And they’ve changed the style to make it look more like the Honda Element! There is only one word that adequately describes the Scion marketing team: “morons.”

    • Keeping anonymity| February 17, 2016 at 5:11 am

      I, unfortunately, must agree with you. I have worked as a tertiary level, customer facing front to the Scion brand for eleven years and can say from experience that the Scion AV team drives the flow of internal information and is hugely out of touch with the actual car industry. They tried for years to make the whole brand about art and music, but forgot to sell the cars to people who could actually buy them.

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