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2005 Scion Xb - HotBoxin'

Put a Smorgasbord of Trends Together and You Get This Smokin' xB

Jonathan Wong
Jan 26, 2007
Photographer: Steve Demmitt

As a car builder, it can be difficult centering your project on one idea alone-just ask Fred Chang. With an xB and full creative freedom from Scion to execute any plan of action, his only option was to mesh together as many ideas as he could think of. What you get is the result of combining the worlds of JDM, VIP, race and skate together; a perfect union that's yielded positive response and exposure through use in Scion's '06 ad campaign. So what sets this xB apart from the multitude of boxes on our streets? Let's see...

First understand that if you are to do anything styled after Japanese trends, your choices for the xB can be limiting. Sure, there's already huge support in the motherland for the bB, but nothing from it fits the xB. The headlights are different, which throws off your chance to add a front bumper, and the rear bumper has its own license plate mounting points instead of being on the hatch like the xB. For Fred, this meant the JDM Topline kit he found had to be severely modified to look and fit right. Auto Explosion took care of all the necessary body work and added in the Topline side skirts and front grille to match the rest of the body kit, then sprayed it all down with a sick two-tone dose of Dupont Tahitian Green and BWM M3 silver. The inspiration for the wild paint scheme came from his partnership with Lakai, a skate clothing brand that asked that their collaboration involve a standout look. Fred even had a set of JLine wheels custom made with an aggressive offset, almost like that of a rear-wheel-drive (+20 front/+15 rear) with 18x8 and 18x9 sizes, with the faces colored to match the teal paint.

Along with tricky body mods, it's also next to impossible to use some of the performance parts that are available for the bB. Fred says, "the original concept called for the single cam to have an HKS turbo kit bolted on, but one of the mounting points for the turbo kit [mainly the bracket that's in the same place as the bB manual transmission] is in a different location for the xB." Instead, HKS fabbed up a prototype intake to fit a Super Mega Flow filter and a downpipe onto, but used off-the-shelf pieces like the Earth Circle grounding system and a Hi-Power C-Compact Wagon exhaust for additional power. A Carbon Design carbon fiber engine cover rests on top of the 1.5L engine and HKS D1 limited oil and radiator caps accent the engine bay.

What stumped Fred the most, though, was how he was going to make the interior work with everything else. At first it was only a pair of Sparco seats, but once bolted in place, they made shifting awkward. Gary Castillo at Design Craft raised the shift lever up to fix that problem and at the same time welded a custom rollcage together. After the cage was completed, it too was teal color-matched. Then Creative Car Audio built a stereo system using custom audio floors to mount the Pioneer subs and a custom enclosure for the amps; the factory head unit was also knocked out for an AVIC-D1 Pioneer touchscreen monitor. With the OEM gauge cluster located on top of the dashboard and in the center, Fred wouldn't be obstructing anything by mounting the HKS meters right above the steering column (where we're normally used to looking at a gauge cluster). He then swapped the steering wheel for a Sparco 345. We love the minimal approach to doing up an interior.

While Fred's xB may not win any races, it's stolen our hearts with its no bull approach to crazy styling from all facets of our culture. Lookin' good, feelin' good-that's all that really matters, right?

Owner Fred Chang

Hometown Long Beach, CA

Daily Grind No good fool with Xerotalent

Under The Hood HKS prototype air intake and downpipe, Earth Circle System, Hi-Power C-Compact Wagon exhaust, Super Mega Flow and D1 Limited oil/radiator caps; Carbon Design engine cover

Stiff Stuff Hks Hipermax C-Compact Wagon coilovers; Progress camber bolts; APR front lower brace and front upper strut bar

Rollers 18x8 (+20) and 18x9 (+15) JLine wheels with custom teal finish; Yokohama Parada Spec 2 215/40R18 tires; Mackin 5mm spacers

Outside Tahitian Green and M3 Silver paint by Dupont; body work by Auto Explosion; Topline front spoiler, side skirts, rear apron and front grille; OEM foglights

Inside Design Craft rollcage and shift lever raiser; Sparco Evo seats, rails, brackets, hub, hub extension, 345 wheel and Competition harnesses; Project shift knob and pedals; HKS meters

Ice Pioneer AVIC-D1 head unit, components, Premier amps/subs; Stinger cables; audio work by Creative Car Audio

Props All my boys at JTuned; BD and Jeremy at Lakai/Podium Dist; Scion, Beyond MG, Randy Bruce at VonZipper; HKS USA (BUDLIGHT!); Yokohama Tire; Sparco USA; APR Performance; Creative Car Audio; Mackin Industries; Pioneer Electronics; Jarod at Meguiar's; Euphoric Designs; Jim and Ryan at Slipstream; JLine Wheels, Jonari Corp, Miguel Ortiz and boys at MOBworks; Daniel Lee and Eddie Hahm for all the help, support and the really creative ideas on this Scion; Connie, Al, Sarah, Leslie and Angela; and everyone else that I forgot to thank, I'm sorry! (I know I've forgotten a lot of people)

By Jonathan Wong
485 Articles

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