With Toyota constantly adding more and more hybrid models each year, the inevitable question has popped up. When will the Scion brand see its first hybrid model? The answer for now appears to be never.
According to Jack Hollis, vice president of Scion Motor Sales U.S.A, who spokes recently with Wards Auto," Scion is an innovation laboratory and a chance to try new things." This statement may lead to a logical conclusion that Scion will be innovative leaders in new technology such as hybrid and possibly even EVs, but this does not appear to be the case.
Hollis went on stating, "Youth seem to be very, very cognizant of their environment and the footprint they're leaving. We really still feel (hybrids) fit into the Toyota lineup better than the Scion lineup, from a pricing structure."
Scion has set a self imposed price limit of $20,000 per model. This price limit would make it incredibly difficult for the brand to release a hybrid vehicle due to the associated costs of the battery and complex powertrain. In particular, Toyota's Synergy setup is more complex than many other hybrid powertrains. The Synergy Drive system allows the wheels to be powered by either the gasoline engine or electric motors further adding to the cost premium of typical hybrids.
A sub $20,000 hybrid does not seem likely within the next few years, but could become feasible later on down the road. according to the Wards Auto report, Toyota is considering adding all wheel drive to a Scion model as they feel that a basic AWD setup could be employed for a cheaper price than a hybrid powertrain. However, an AWD setup .typically sacrifices fuel economy How AWD drive fits into Hollis' statement about youthful buyers being cognizant of their environment and the footprint they're leaving is questionable.
For now, don't expect a Scion hybrid anytime soon, but Hollis does admit that in the long term Scion will have hybrids, but nothing is in the works right now.
Source: Wards Auto (Login required)