Friday, October 30, 2015

Things That Will Not Help Scion iA Sales: This Low Rider

Scion iA Eddie Huang front SEMA 2015
I just gave back the 2016 Scion iA which I've been reviewing for the past week. I won't give away all the details, but it's got great driving dynamics and looks like a miniature Mazda3 sedan (sans the fish-like front fascia).

Then I see this.

I know the SEMA Show is all about extravagance, going big or going home with your build, and gaining exposure. But this? This does nothing to help the Scion iA in any way, other than letting people know you can make it look ridiculous. Yes, it'll get publicity, but perhaps for the wrong reasons.

Scion iA Eddie Huang interior

A chain link steering wheel? Swivel seats and curtain-like dash trim? I know the theme was classic lowrider, but c'mon—this looks ridiculous on this vehicle. It's one thing when you take something that has some recognition, such as last year's retro Scion xB and make a retro 1970s van out of it—that worked. But to me, this classic lowrider look just does not work on the iA.

According to Scion:

Eddie Huang, well-known for his book and TV adaptation, “Fresh Off The Boat,” is embracing L.A. culture with a modern take on the classic lowrider, outfitting a Scion iA with a chain-link steering wheel and custom swivel front seats and more. A dual-stage air bag system with independent wheel control allows for side to side, front to back and 3-wheel motion. Meanwhile, the exterior features metallic yellow paint with root beer accents. A mural of a “human panda,” which is how Huang refers to himself, is on the hood. Huang has also added wire wheels dipped in gold, along with a one-of-a-kind gold-plated front grille, truly capturing the essence of the era, but with a modern twist.
Yes, this vehicle will likely garner a lot of attention from people. But I'm afraid it'll be for all the wrong reasons.

Scion iA Eddie Huang

Scion is a bringing a more palatable custom iA to the SEMA Show in the form of the Skybound iA, which does follow the more traditional tuner car look.

Scion iA Skybound
I greatly prefer it to the iA lowrider, despite the blue paintwork that only accentuates its gaping mouth. It'd be a bit like putting bright red lipstick on Steven Tyler.

I suppose one could give Scion kudos for thinking outside the box (that is not an xB pun), but is it really thinking differently? People have been customizing small cars with lowrider themes for decades, so it's actually more like rehashing an old idea; one that's not too popular anymore. It'd be like if Nike were to show off its latest athletic apparel using someone on Rollerblades—it isn't current, and it's a bit weird—much like the Eddie Huang Scion iA.


Steve "SailDesign" Baker said...

I did NOT need the Steven Tyler mental image..... :P

But I do knw what you mean. :)

Barry Traylor said...