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What If?: Toyota ccX

What If? Is a series on the concept cars that never quite made it to production from Toyota, Lexus, and Scion. We give as much information as possible on the vehicle and the reasons why it would have, or wouldn't have worked in real life. The question is...would you have wanted this concept?

While doing research on the early 2000's Toyota Caldina GT-Four N, I came across some information on a long forgotten concept; the Scion ccX. The Scion brand existed from 2003 until 2016, with cars by Toyota aimed at a younger demographic. Cars like the TC, XB, and eventually FRS became staples of a generation but on the heels of dwindling sales figures, the remaining models were rolled back into the Toyota lineup. The ccX never made it out of the auto show circuit, debuting at the 2002 North American International Auto Show in Detroit as a 2-door wagon; more of a shooting brake than a panel van. The ccX stood for Coupe Crossover, it was designed in Japan and put together in Italy by Coggiola; the silver color on the concept lends itself to a minimalist futuristic design with smooth panels and sloping roofline. The ccX makes ample use of glass, the greenhouse plays an integral role to the design as the roof is made of two large sunroofs, each made of four glass panels that tilt and contract individually to allow access to the rear cargo area. The reason for the roof and hatch functionality was that Toyota aimed to sell this to the active-lifestyle demographic; imagine an open-air driving experience with the ability to also carry some outdoor items like a bicycle or kayak just behind you.

To access the interior a convenient automatic door opening mechanism helps ease getting in and out for the four occupants. The minimalist design language extends inside, a blue center mounted dashboard splits the interior with a 7" display with a DVD player, remote buttons to control the monitor and a mobile phone. The seats are covered in a blue fabric with a see-through mesh in-between each section, the rear seats fold down for extra cargo space which along with the rest of the car is covered in an easy-to-wash rubber material.

The powertrain consists of the 2.4 liter 2AZ-FE powering the front wheels through a 4-speed automatic, a carryover from the Scion TC. Disc brakes are featured at all four corners as are 18 inch alloy wheels. Without much information to go off of on suspension tuning, it would be safe to assume that the ride quality and handling would be similar to the Scion TC and aforementioned Caldina; sporty but not harsh, in-line with the needs of the outdoor enthusiast.

What if the Scion ccX existed? What would it be called? Perhaps the XC is an apt name for the 2-door wagon however it would be hard to imagine this vehicle existing without an extra set of doors. The United States has unfortunately been a difficult market for wagons and for a time, hatchbacks; it would've been difficult to pitch the ccX outside of a very niche market of buyers. The drivetrain is production ready, but the design may not have been, it is very expensive to have a set of glass panels that move and contract which eventually would have led to added weight, potential leaks, top heavy handling, and an expensive price tag. Inside the vehicle was setup for the future, or at least the future of the early 2000's; the easy to wash floor is akin to the FJ Cruiser, the seats would've potentially been borrowed from another model like the TC or XB, and although the dashboard design is interesting, I can imagine it would've been more cost effective to relocate the cluster behind the steering wheel and use a more common material to replace the high-sheen blue plastic. The reasons as to why the Scion ccX never saw the light of day is simple, it wouldn't have sold in great quantities but we all know how sought after it would've been as a cult favorite today. Toyota is known for making very calculated risks in regards to new models, for perspective the early 2000's was considered Japan's lost decade; without support for a vehicle like this from the home market it just never made sense to release it to the public.


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