4 Insane Custom Scion Cars From SEMA 2015

Source: Facebook/Scion
Source: Facebook/Scion

The SEMA Show in Las Vegas, Nevada is wilder than ever this year, and we love what we’ve seen so far. Commonly referred to as “the world’s largest and best premier automotive specialty products trade event,” this three-day madhouse draws the industry’s brightest minds and hottest products to the Las Vegas Convention Center every year in early November, and offers educational seminars, product demonstrations, special events, networking opportunities, and more pinup models than you can shake a stick at.

Last year, the 2014 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) drew more than 60,000 domestic and international buyers, and a “New Products Showcase” featured nearly 2,000 newly introduced parts, tools, and components. But that isn’t the only reason why people show up to SEMA; it’s the sea of custom machines that attracts the masses, with everything from choppers and monster trucks to historic race cars and VIP vans capturing show-goers’ attention.

Working in partnership with Toyo Tires, Toyota off-shoot brand Scion brought four customized vehicles to the SEMA Show this year. Then, later in the month, the Scion Tuner Challenge vehicles will be judged by a panel consisting of last year’s participants from Super Street Magazine, GT Channel, and Speedhunters, at which point the grand prize of $10,000 will be announced at the L.A. Auto Show on November 28.

Source: Facebook/Scion
Source: Facebook/Scion

This year, thousands of enthusiastic petrolheads have the ability to see the compact iA and iM hatchback, modded-out and ready to inspire a fresh crop of enthusiasts. Originally previewed in downtown Los Angeles’s Arts District a few days ahead of SEMA for the 11th Annual Scion Tuner Challenge, the style of modding is pretty extreme this year. While it may not be everyone’s cup of tea, there’s no denying each car’s unique properties.

Two customized versions of the iM were created by prominent streetwear brands illest and Crooks & Castles, who got ahold of a duo of the hatches, all while Scion lifestyle partners Eddie Huang and Skybound Entertainment rolled-out two insane iA project cars, with each team receiving a Scion and a $15,000 build budget in order to help facilitate a unique spin on the car.

Mark Arcenal, creative director at illest, drew inspiration for his iM concept from the Japanese VIP culture, which was almost a total departure from the race-inspired tC he built for the 2008 Scion Tuner Challenge. While the “bosozoku” exhaust and fender flares on the Crooks & Castles build may not be to everyone’s taste, it certainly has become a car that is impossible to ignore. Rob Panlilio, co-founder of Crooks & Castles, says he stuck to his Japanese car roots as well, and by adding a wide body kit and AccuAir suspension, he was able to add some significant stance to the equation.

In predictable fashion, Panlilio created a black and white scheme for the car, with a white leather-wrapped rollcage and black reupholstered race seats on the interior. The car was finished off with a signature set of custom, white mesh wheels, thus mirroring the overall theme of his existing fleet of custom cars.

Meanwhile, Eddie Huang, best known for his TV adaptation of a book he wrote called Fresh Off the Boat, decided to embrace LA culture with open arms. Building his own take on the classic lowrider, Huang has outfitted his Scion iA with a chain-link steering wheel, custom swivel front seats, a dual-stage air bag system, metallic yellow paint with root beer accents, and a mural of a “human panda” on the hood, which is supposed to represent the comedic celebrity. With wire wheels dipped in gold, a one-off, gold-plated front grille, and white wall tires, there is no denying that this thing is designed to be both humorous and show-ready.

Finally, for those of you who are fans of The Walking Dead and enjoyed my article on five cars built to withstand the zombie apocalypse, Skybound Entertainment has put its own spin on Robert Kirkman’s latest comic book, Outcast. Rocking a demonic possession theme, its Scion iA moves and operates on its own via pneumatic movements and an automated sequence of light and audio effects. Orange, black, and green, the demonic little iA has a truly evil spirit that has been inspired by the graphic novel, as sinister images are slathered across the roof, all while the car gyrates, smokes, changes colors, and emits eerie sounds.

1. The illest VIP iM

Source: Scion
Source: Scion


• Dark gray color change with Safari wrap
• Brembo 4-piston calipers with 380 millimeter discs
• Rotiform 1 of 1 RSE mesh 19-inch wheels
• Rays Engineering Lug Nuts
• Toyo Tires 225/35 R19
• Air Lift Performance 3H Digital Air Suspension
• MB Quart Separates, Amplifiers, and Subs
• Suede and leather interior by DJ Designs
• Momo Motorsports Shift Knob
• Vip’d Out Front and Rear Trays

2. Crooks & Castles Widebody iM

Source: Scion
Source: Scion


• Boden Autohaus installed roll cage, exhaust, NOS kit (NITROUS
OXIDE), air suspension, and interior
Recaro R100 Race Seats
Sparco Settanta Pedals
NRG Innovations Short Hub
Nardi Sport Rally Steering Wheel
• Nardi Ambition Shift Knob
AccuAir Suspension air Management
Toyo Tires R888: 25/40/18 (fronts) and 255/35/18 (rears)
Rotiform Wheels LHR Concave 18 by 10 inches (front) 18 by 11 inches(rear)
Vollkommen Design Over Fender Kit
• StrasseSport Paint and Body

3. Skybound Entertainment/Robert Kirkman Outcast iA

Source: Facebook/Scion
Source: Facebook/Scion

Special features
This vehicle is equipped with a special two-minute choreographed program that runs through a series of automated features giving the impression the vehicle is possessed or has a mind of its own.

Five Axis Custom Aero Kit
• Five Axis Custom Blended 3 Stage Outcast Orange Candy Paint with Custom Graphics and Pinstriping
• Animated LED Front Bumper Bar
• Color Changing LED headlights
• White Out Window Film
• Auto Opening Actuated Rear Doors
• Auto Opening Actuated Gas Filler Door
• Auto Steering Actuated Front and Rear Wheels
• Auto Actuated Suspension
• Animated Rear Tailights

• Custom Logo’d Suede Seat Inserts and Headliner
• Custom Illuminated Logo Panel Suspension and Chassis
• Modified Air Actuated Suspension and Ride Height
• Auto Opening Glove Box
• Auto Smoking HVAC Vents with Fire Illumination
• Auto Reclining Actuated Seats
• Auto Actuated Steering Wheel
• Blood Splatter Projected Graphics On Windows
• Custom Pioneer 11 Speaker, 3000W Audio System

FIVE: AD S6: F Aluminum Alloy Wheels Front and Rear: 18 by 7.5 inches (+45 offset)
Toyo Tires Proxes R1R Front And Rear: 225/40R18

Build shops
Troy Sumitomo/5 Axis (Owner)
Geoff Curtis/5 Axis (Project Lead)

4. Eddie Huang’s Lowrider iA

Source: Facebook/Scion
Source: Facebook/Scion

• Custom “Reflections” yellow and gold pearl blend fading to candy root beer rocker panels, highlighted with an airbrushed lace pattern bordered with gold leaves and accented with hand-painted pinstripes
• Hand-etched gold accents
• Gold-plated square tube front grille
• Headlamp and tail lamp color keyed
• Shaved door handles
• Side-hinged, electronically actuated trunk
• Chrome undercarriage and exhaust tip with glasspack muffler

Corbeau GTS II seats with tuffed and folded Alcantara center inserts on swivel bases
• Custom ultra-suede covered dash, door panels
• Black ultra-suede headliner and pillars
• Custom fabricated rear seats with tuffed and folded Alcantara center inserts
• Rear center console subwoofer enclosure
• Ultra-suede floor mats
• Bamboo shifter
• Ultra-suede lined trunk
• Gold plated “Human Panda” rear plaque
Pioneer DEH-80PRS Receiver in custom dash mount enclosure
• 2 x GM-D9601 Amplifiers (4,800 watts)
• GM-D1004 Amplifier (400 watts)
• 2 x TS-D1730C 6 ¾-inch component speaker system behind yellow accent door trim panels
• 4 x TS-W261D4 Champion Series subwoofers mounted in custom rear center console enclosure (paint matched)

• 15x 7.5-inch G Boy 100-spoke wheels (gold-plated spokes with bronze powder-coated lips)
• 165/R15-inch Coker Tires with 2-inch whitewalls
• 18×8-inch 100-spoke wheels (gold-plated spokes with bronze powder-coated lips)
• 215/35 R18 Toyo Tires Extensa HP Tires

• 2-Stage air bag system (dual tank with dual compressors)
• Custom fabricated controller and valve system
• Custom fabricated mounting system
• Remotely operated primary system
• Traditional tethered secondary system
• Chrome-plated, billet double A-arm front suspension
• Chrome-plated, reinforced rear axle
• Reinforced chassis and mounting points

Build shop
Scott Kanemura / KMA Industries

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