Scion’s two latest little things, the Mazda 2–derived iA and the iM—a rebadged Toyota Auris—are solid machines. Useful, well-priced, and, in the case of the iA, decent to drive. They do, however, suffer a bit in the aesthetic department. But hey, the iM’s a single-trim-level C-segment hatch for well-equipped B-segment money. It’s nothing the aftermarket, with its cornucopia of solutions important and trivial, can’t solve. These two iMs, from Illest and Crooks and Castles, suggest see/be seen street-scene intent. Naturally, they’re SEMA specials, built as part of the Scion Tuner Challenge.
Illest’s iM forgoes custom paint in favor of a dark gray wrap, then sets itself on the floor with an Air Lift suspension kit. Rotiform 19-inchers wear Toyo 225/35 tires. MB Quart speakers and amps make the music go bang, while occupants enjoy an upgraded suede/leather interior by DJ Designs. A Momo shift knob adds some Italian flair to the console area. Illest would also like to inform you that the lower front and rear fascias have been VIP’d out. iM VIP OMG LOLZ.
Scion Tuner Challenge – Illest iM concept
We’d like to say that Crooks and Castles took a different approach, but the fundamental aesthetic is pretty much the same. C and C’s car is covered in gloss paint rather than a matte wrap, its air suspension comes from AccuAir rather than Air Lift, and its Toyos are wrapped around 18” Rotiforms, rather than the 19-inchers on Illest’s car. It’s even got an Italianate shift knob, only this one’s from Nardi. But there are three very import differences here: C and C’s car is on the bottle, courtesy of NOS, and it has a roll cage and Recaro R100 race seats. Additional bulgey-muscle-packageness comes from the Vollkommen Design overfender kit.
If the Illest and Crooks and Castles mods don’t make the iM look exceedingly boss, they at least fit with Scion’s vision of young people making the machines their own. It’s just that, well, we bet plenty of middle-aged folks would enjoy the iM’s blend of practicality, frugality, and quality. And they probably won’t be dropping 100 shots of nitrous into the 1.8-liter engine any time soon. But hey, if you wanna sing out, sing out! If you wanna bro down, bro down!
2015 SEMA Show Full Coverage