More significant, however, is xB’s all-new compact-car platform, which represents a move away from the xD—the replacement for the previous xB’s platformmate, the xA—which has transitioned to the Yaris’ subcompact architecture. As such, the all-new xB offers more space inside for guitars, amps, and retro-punk hairdos. Gone are the moronic center-mounted gauges, replaced by a more stylish, more conventional dashboard arrangement.
The news gets even better under the hood, where a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine (shared with the tC) making 158 horsepower and 162 pound-feet of torque replaces the wimpy 103-hp 1.5-liter four-pot of xB version 1.0. Five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmissions deliver the newfound power to the front wheels, the latter with steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters.
Scion chose the Chicago Auto Show to lift the veil from its first new model since the tC, called xD. Though the xD effectively replaces the not-so-popular xA, it is different enough to warrant a new name to match its infinitely more stylish, squared-off sheetmetal. The new name also underscores that the subcompact xD, which arrives late this summer, no longer shares a platform—or even engines—with Scion’s other Chicago debutant: the all-new 2008 xB, which has grown into a proper compact and is scheduled to arrive late this spring.
The 2008 xD is based on the Yaris platform but, thankfully, Scion saw fit to skip over the Yaris’ wimpy 103-hp, 1.5-liter four-banger and install a 128-hp 1.8-liter four (as found in the Toyota Corolla/Matrix) under the clamshell hood. Said motor will be mated to either a four-speed automatic or a five-speed manual transmission. The xD’s wheels are 16 inches in diameter, though Scion certainly will have an array of larger wheels available as accessories, along with myriad other items to help customers individualize their ‘D.