Scion's Hako Coupe concept: 'the sporty version of a box.'

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Scion's Hako Coupe conecpt box

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March 20, 2008 "Scion's Hako Coupe Concept embodies a distinct global perspective on today's youth," said Jack Hollis, Scion vice president. "This type of forward thinking complements the Scion philosophy of intently listening to our customers and being willing to take risks to help us see where our brand should be. We took the xB's iconic boxy shape and explored something more vivacious, yet just as emotionally appealing. This concept is the sporty version of a box."

Let's hear that again: "the sporty version of a box." Hollis certainly doesn't mince words. If the original Scion xB was criticised for being boxy, the Hako (translation: "box") concept takes it to extremes. Toyota's 'youth brand' unveiled the sportsbox at the New York Auto Show yesterday afternoon to a sea of perplexed onlookers who left wondering whether this is really what kids are asking for in a car.

The Hako's 18" wheels are about the only distraction from the car's gangster-meets-shoebox lines, its vertical windshield standing out as a heroic triumph of awful styling over aerodynamics. The featureless front grille quickly robs the Hako of any classic pretensions and the overall impression is of plain oddity.

The interior shows how Scion views its youth market; joysticks, trackballs, video monitors and beverage holders are festooned throughout a cockpit that looks like the inside of a kiddie car in a McDonald's playground. Random barcode-like stripes adorn the roof, the dashboard is mounted in the middle of the square steering wheel, and there's video cameras mounted in a few key spots so that drivers and passengers can edit together small clips of their journeys.

Users can upload videos and music to the entertainment system through a Bluetooth connection. The front passenger controls the system using a large rollerball mounted on the center of the dash.

"As you know, polarizing style fits in well with our lineup," said Hollis. "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."

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