Yesterday afternoon, as I was more engaged with my morning scone than my drive, I ended up alongside a Scion iM and couldnt help but remark that, “That is a hot-looking hatch.” Now realize that I do NOT believe in second thoughts, thus I allowed that one to flutter off until, just at this very figurative moment but literally hours ago, I made a quippy to myself. “Hehe...Corolla iMatrix..hehe.” *Churckle-churckle!* My brain just sputtered into life.
Inner Thought: “Corolla iMatrix...i...BMW...Matrix...Corolla...BMW Corolla is the iMatrix!!”
Outer Thought: “Wasn’t there a report about the Corolla getting a BMW engine?”
Inner Thought: “Quiet, me!! Hot scone...hot...scone...Scion...the hot scone is a hot Scion!!”
Outer Thought: “That was delicious! I wonder why that red light was taking so long?”
Inner Thought: “Finish your thought and your meal before starting another, child! Now concentrate, hot Scion is a BMW Corolla. The iMatrix, man. The iMatrix!”
Outer Thought: “Wwwoah!! That first bit was like something pulled from a cookie...”
Back to the business at hand, which is abreast of a hatch that’s afoot, I’m starting to think that one of the three BMW engines is going to turn the Corolla hatchback into something along the lines of a VW Golf competitor in order to connect the upcoming Toyota sports trio (S-FR, 86, and not-a-Supra) with the more mundane model lineup.
The iMatrix is the perfect bridge and gives Gazoo a wider reaching vehicle for the new GRMN performance brand. Plus, the iM already has a less aggressive version of the front end design cues we are seeing in the Camry SE/XSE and the upcoming S-PR.
The more I think about it the more I realize the US wouldn’t get it, just Europe. Toyota can have BMW provide two diesel engines and one high performance petrol engine to round out the entire Auris lineup. There’s no reason to continue to invest in keeping diesel engines up to code in Europe. You might as well have a brand with a significant level of production protection around them such as BMW to do that work. Plus, sourcing the engines also helps BMW keep production levels steady as diesel within their own lineup slacks off a tiny bit.
I can also imagine there is a logistical benefit to using the BMW 2.0T for such a market specific variant that will facilitate future branding needs. I don’t know anything about the European market though nor if this could translate to the US. Whatever, all this talk has reminded me that the Blade Master G was a thing!