PSFK visits the launch of Scion’s new tiny, urban, 4-door automobile in California.
The Scion IQ press reveal kicked off with a check-in and welcome reception at the Shade Hotel, a luxury boutique hotel located in Manhattan Beach, California where we would be spending the next two days learning about Toyota Scion’s soon-to-debut line of eco-friendly small cars. As is common with the unveiling of any new car, Scion wanted to gather a group of journalists and influential bloggers together to discuss the specifications and various components unique to their car in light of the changing industry. But it was in this respect that Scion took a different approach. As it was explained to us, the decision made was to separate traditional automobile journalists from cultural bloggers and publications to make sure the vehicle’s urban implications weren’t lost on the larger audience. All in all, the event would include a test drive and plenty of manufacturing information, but we also heard about the plans to market the car across multiple touch points in order to reach Scion’s target demographic.
The Scion IQ is the world’s smallest four-passenger automobile, just 10 feet in length with the official capacity of 4 passengers. The car is a model of innovation and engineering. It features 11 airbags, sixteen inch alloy wheels, and an exceptional turning radius of 12.9 ft offering enhanced maneuverability in tight spaces. All of which is made possible through the relocation of internal components of the car, such as the gas tank, to afford space for these new features. Additionally, the car meets Tier 2 and ULEV 2 eco-friendly emissions regulations and gains 37 miles to the gallon in combined highway/city driving.
The impressive marketing campaign delves into the psyche of perceived Scion drivers. We were shown to the Scion IQ museum, a digital venture whose goal is to spotlight influential cultural movements and individuals from recent history, featuring artwork from producer Prince Paul and Sage Vaugn, among many others. The Scion Magazine and its 20th edition issue will tie into the Scion IQ’s innovative use of space by asking ten creative thinkers to design their ideal 10x10x10 live/work space. The common thread, it seemed, was that Scion sees this car as an innovation derived from and intended for the urban environment. Paying homage to the artists making use of ever dwindling space in an urban context draws a unique parallel between the IQ and the early urban adopters preceding it.
After a test drive and dinner sparing little expense, the evening wound its way down. There’s no doubt that the aesthetics of this car fall outside of the norm and that will have an effect on its sales. But it is entirely possible that Scion is ahead of the curve in predicting exactly what the urban professional is looking for in a car.
This post was created with the kind support of Canon Powershot: