My Dinner With Some Scion Product Development People

At a press event, people who wouldn't normally get anywhere near you have to eat with you

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I was out in Vegas this week, driving a certain rear-wheel drive Scion I’ll be talking about in much more detail next week. While there, I had a chance to sit with some product development guys from Scion and Toyota. As I always do in these situations, I took advantage of the chance to tell them about all my amazing ideas. Because everyone loves having a semi-drunk idiot tell them how to do their jobs.

Here’s what went down.


The idea: Hey! You guys should make a shooting brake version of the FR-S!

The response: Surprisingly positive, if very noncommital. Shooting brakes are a special kind of great, and I think deep down everyone knows that. It’s way too early to get any real sense of how likely this is. I’m giving it a 15% chance.


The idea: You know what you guys need? An Xb-based pickup truck. I’d love a small but useful pickup truck. Those Rabbit ones are too hard to find now.


The response: Again, surprisingly good! I thought this one was a longer shot than the FR-S shooting break, but it seems they’ve already been thinking about this. There’s no real small, actually useful truck out now, and something like this would have the niche to itself. They even teased about a possible prototype. Well, most of them. A more senior-looking member of the team just gave me a mildly disgusted look. I’m giving this one 50/50 odds.


The idea: A reborn MR2! They have this great new Subaru/Toyota flat-4, why not throw it behind the driver and make an everyman’s Cayman?

The response: Stares, and some slow head shakes with downcast eyes. Whispering. I’m told it’s not likely to happen. They start to plan a way to leave the table as rapidly as possible. Probably 10% chance of happening.


The idea: A rear-engine wagon! Now that Scion has access to an opposed, flat-type boxer engine, what better way to take advantage of it than to mount it under the floor of a wagon! Front trunk, wagon rear, the ultimate in versatility. Time to pick up where the Type III left off!


The response: One of them took my hand and suggested I seek out my clergyperson. Another started to softly sob and ask why I won’t just leave them alone. I feel a pressure on the back of my neck and wake up several hours later in a maintenance closet. Either 100% or 0% chance of happening. It’ll definitely be one of those.

I think they’re into it!