Praise goes to the design manager of the Scion xB. Dude has balls big enough that'd make a blue whale drown in envy. When it comes to stodgy old Japanese businessmen, I'd think twice before pitching a design inspired by a transient's cardboard dwelling. After all, theirs is a culture that encourages acts of self-inflicted, suicidal stabbing after instances of dishonor.
Besides being endowed with a pair of Kevlar-infused brass nads, I've a few other speculations about the designer. One, his favorite shapes consist of right angles, particularly the rectangle. Two, he owned at least one lunch pail during his formative years. Three, he was a big fan of the Astro van. Four, he likes his anime Super Deformed. And five, he read up on Toyota's corporate guidelines, paying particular attention to their policy of discouraging acts of seppuku for funky designs.
But like a three-boobied Martian, the xB takes some time to get used to. The beauty of its design is in its simplicity, and it works. With some time. Its too small for its frame shape gives it its character and, dare I say, is cute in a freaky little Pokemon sense. Andrey Tolentino out of Canyon Country thought so too, although he probably wouldn't use the same adjective to describe why he likes the xB. Working at the Northridge Toyota parts department, Andrey bought this '06 Scion xB as a commuter to keep his show-worthy C230 Mercedes at home. And having built several trophy winning imports and a brother who owned Tolentino Motoring-a shop out in sunny Lancaster, CA-the Scion stayed stock about as long as an ice cream sundae would last the first night of fat camp.
The first thing you might notice about Andrey's xB is how cleanly executed the boxy package is. A simple Kenstyle lip kit painted the stock Polar White Jungle Fever-ed by the black of the carbon hood, trunk, and spoiler compels a double take on the streets. While yes, this is nothing revolutionary, tippy-toe (or if you're short Asians like us, grab a stool, chair, or piggyback) and take a look at the roof. That ain't black paint gone awry, but carbon fiber custom laid by A&A Autoworks. While you're perusing the exterior, take a closer look at the headlights, foglights, gas lid, window visor, trimmings, and decals. Look a little tastier than the average Scion? That's cause it's a bento box full of swapped JDM deliciousness.
What really sets this car off however, are the old-school-still-looks-dope-in-the-new-school 15x8 Work Equip 03s wrapped in Falken rubber. Slammed on Tanabe coilovers, TRD antiroll bars and a set of Cusco strut braces-a chronological anomaly-the sharp lines of the Equips accentuate the xB body lines like thongs on a Victoria's Secret model. Fastened by ultra-rare black chrome TRD lug nuts, the gold wheels brake harder courtesy of TRD brake pads and lines squeezed onto Rotora rotors.
The xB wasn't engineered to win any zero to 60 battles, and Andrey knew this. It does, however, get about 60-percent better gas mileage than most cars; a fact he appreciates during his 50-mile round-trip commute to work. For a little extra oomph during onramp stomps, Andrey installed Denso spark plugs; Nology wires; JDM ground wires; Perrin crank pulley and fuel regulator; and an intake, header, and exhaust from TRD to nudge the pony count. Enhancing Toyota reliability is a Cusco oil catch can and breather to relieve engine pressure, and a TRD transmission cooler to reduce gearbox temperatures. Form meets under-the-hood function as a Cusco hood damper, Blitz and Perrin hoses, carbon radiator support, and TRD oil and radiator caps shine against the custom Kevlar firewall.
For the interior, Andrey wanted to make his commute more tolerable. Bride Brix seats, Takata harnesses, custom seatbelt bar, quick-release Sparco steering wheel, Razo pedals, AC crystal shift knob, and Defi gauges enhance feedback and safety. The custom Bride and suede upholstered cabin, rare JDM console, cupholders and doorsills, however, are purely for flossing. Replacing the stock audio is a Kenwood in-dash TV/DVD head unit and 6 1/2-inch component speakers to drown out the buzz of traffic.
What started out as a means of transportation to keep his modded Benz at home resulted in a show-worthy xB. Hell, he spent more money on the Scion than on the C230, and it shows. Despite the amount of cashish, labor, and hard work, don't get it twisted; the only trailer Andrey's ride sees is the one being towed behind a Mack truck on the 5 Freeway. A perfect daily driver we just might pick over a three boobied Martian. Unless, that is, we sprouted a third hand.
'06 Scion xB
OWNER Andrey Tolentino
HOMETOWN Canyon Country, CA
DAILY GRIND Parts department of Northridge Toyota
POWER more than stock
UNDER THE HOOD Denso sparkplugs; Nology wires; JDM ground wires; Perrin crank pulley; fuel regulator; TRD intake, header exhaust, oil cap, radiator cap; Cusco oil catch can, breather, hood damper; Blitz upper radiator hose; Perrin hoses, carbon radiator support; custom Kevlar firewall; magnetic drain plugs
DRIVETRAIN TRD transmission cooler
STIFF STUFF Tanabe coilovers; TRD front and rear antiroll bars; Cusco upper and lower strut bars
ROLLERS 15x8 Work Equip 03 wheels; Falken tires; TRD black chrome lug nuts
STOPPERS Rotora cross-drilled and slotted rotors; TRD brake pads, braided lines
OUTSIDE Kenstyle lip kit; custom carbon fiber roof; carbon hood; VIS carbon trunk; JDM carbon fiber rear wing, headlights, foglights, gas lid, window visor, chrome rear bumper cover, plate, decals, bB trunk handle with back-up camera, badges, grill
INSIDE Bride Brix seats, fabric; Suede interior; Takata harnesses; custom seatbelt bar; Sparco steering wheel; Razo pedals; AC crystal shift knob; Defi gauges; JDM console, cupholders, door sills
ICE Kenwood DVD head unit, 6 1/2-inch component speakers
PROPS Thanks to Northridge Toyota, AA Autoworks, Myautofashion.com and my girl Ling for helping me build my car