Motion: P. Dabao / A. Hilman
Snaps: P. Dabao / A. Hilman
It started in Summer 2009, Scion Evolution resident R/C car driver Paul Dabao (trdpaul) test drove the newest HPI Racing mini chassis for the Fiat 500 called the Switch. The Switch is a Ready-To-Run, factory-assembled chassis, painted/trimmed body with decals applied, and complete electronics that include the transmitter/receiver, reversible electronic speed control, battery pack and AC charger. The Switch has a Front Wheel Drive drivetrain, which is a first for HPI. It’s a whole new concept HPI since most of their models are 4WD and RWD. It drove well and simple to maneuver, most of all the fun factor was something to experience, totally different from driving 4WD cars. The Switch is perfectly suited for parking lot racing for drivers of all levels and it doesn’t require an advanced driver to enjoy this chassis.
With that simple test drive it all clicked, Paul thought to himself, ”why can’t HPI make a Scion in this chassis? That would be awesome!” Paul, being part of the HPI Factory Racing Team Driver, decided to check the possibilities. After the initial meeting with Scion’s Optomize program guru Korey Tsuno, Scion okay’ed the idea and the project was on its way.
Next stop, who can design the body? Who knows Scions better than Five Axis’ Troy Sumitomo. Troy was there since the beginning of Scion, designing concept cars that included the original orange DJ xB. It was a no brainer. In fact, Troy also designed the body for HPI’s Short Course Truck called the Blitz. So with all these resources, the project started to materialized. In order to obtain the correct scale for the Scion xB it needed to be lengthened. Luckily the current Fiat 500 chassis could easily be transformed from a short wheelbase to a long wheel base by adjusting the suspension and the body posts. Prototype kits started to arrive for testing. Within months of tinkering, the HPI Scion xB Switch was ready to be launched.
It wasn’t decided where and how until SE started to plan Revue. Revue was an automotive shindig presented by Five Axis and Scion Evolution, a Charity Meet and Greet for JDRF held at Five Axis Headquarters in Huntington Beach on May 1, 2010. Unveiling the kit was done by none other than the body designer himself, Troy Sumitomo. HPI painted the car gold, which symbolizes the first unveil of the 2nd Gen xB in New York. More than a dozen kits were on display for all to see.
Production started in early Summer of 2010 and made available to the public in September 2010. The kit is available in three pre-painted colors, white, silver and gold. The Scion xb Switch is available through any Toyota/Scion Dealership under the Optomize Program.
Retail price is $199.99. For more information on the HPI Scion xB Switch Click HERE!
And of course you are able to hop up the xB like you would your car, check it OUT!
We now wonder with all the other Scion models available, what’s next? Only time will tell, stay tuned…