Men's Lifestyle Tech

Style Spotlight: The Scion Turner Challenge Semi-Finalists

A few weeks ago, Male Standard attended the downtown Los Angeles’ Arts District to preview creative competition cars; Scion tasked designers with interpreting their visions of the Scion iM 5-door hatchback and Scion iA sedan.  We saw fantastic creations and had a blast learning about where Scion is taking their design front.  Hint: it’s fun, fast, and furious!  The creative visions are now a reality, and so we are hitting the road to visit Las Vegas, where the Scion Turner Competition semi-finals are heating up.

The 11th Annual Scion Tuner Challenge will see uniquely remixed versions of the all-new sporty 2016 iM 5-door hatchback created by prominent streetwear brands illest and Crooks & Castles.  Each team was given a Scion iM and a $15,000 build budget to put a unique spin on the car.  Now, we are going to see in person what the teams came up with ahead of the Nov 25 finals.  Be sure to follow us on Twitter and Instagram if you aren’t already for exclusive live action @malestandard – it’s going to be awesome!

#ScionTunerChallenge 2015 preview event. Loving this Skybound Ent. “Outcast” 2016 @scion #iA

A photo posted by (@malestandard) on

// you can see, the designers truly outdid themselves with innovative and playful designs.  We loved seeing the different interpretations and flavors shine through.  Each of the iM’s looked so different with a few customizations, yet all retained a sleek, sophisticated edge that won us over!  We also loved talking with other car buffs, and discussing what we would do if we had money to throw at a Scion iM, and we have to say, the Scion Turner Challenge semi-finalists have their work cut out — the sky truly is the limit! 

Scion Turner Challenge Semi-Finalists

The first of two semi-finalists sees Mark Arcenal, creative director of illest, return to the Scion Turner Challenge.  This year, Arcenal is showcasing inspiration for his iM concept from the Japanese VIP world, a clear departure from the race-inspired tC he built at the 2008 Scion Tuner Challenge.  illest will becompeting head to head with Crooks & Castles for the Scion Turner Challenge crown.  When asked how illest intends to blow the competition away, this is what they had to say:

Illiest taking customization to a new level with the @scion 2016 #iM #ScionTunerChallenge A photo posted by (@malestandard) on


“With a background in motorsports, I went with familiarity for my previous Scion Tuner Challenge experience.  I wanted to push the boundaries even further this time,” Arcenal said.  “The iM has a sporty look I thought would mesh well with the aggressive VIP style, making for the perfect combo to win the competition.”

Rob Panlilio, co-founder of Crooks & Castles, however, stuck to his Japanese car roots with a wide body kit and AccuAir suspension.  In true Crooks & Castles’ fashion, Panlilio and his team featured a black and white scheme, with an all-white leather wrapped rollcage and black rewrapped race seats for the interior.  The car was finished off with his signature trademark, custom white mesh wheels, mirroring the theme of his existing fleet of customized cars.

Scion Unveils x2 2016 iA project cars

Beyond the Tuner Challenge entries, Scion lifestyle partners Eddie Huang and Skybound unveiled two eye-popping 2016 iA project cars that capture the passion of their fans.

Eddie Huang, well-known for his book and TV adaptation, “Fresh Off The Boat,” is embracing L.A. culture with a modern take on the classic lowrider, outfitting a Scion iA with a chain-link steering wheel and custom swivel front seats and more.  A dual-stage air bag system with independent wheel control allows for side to side, front to back and 3-wheel motion.  Meanwhile, the exterior features metallic yellow paint with root beer accents.  A mural of a “human panda,” which is how Huang refers to himself, is on the hood.

Huang has also added wire wheels dipped in gold, along with a one-of-a-kind gold-plated front grille, truly capturing the essence of the era, but with a modern twist.

The modern “lowrider” 2016 @scion #iA by Eddie Huang #ScionTunerChallenge preview

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Fans of The Walking Dead will appreciate Skybound Entertainment’s execution of Robert Kirkman’s latest comic book, Outcast.  With the theme of demonic possession, the car will move and operate on its own via pneumatic movements of multiple components and an automated sequence of light and audio effects.  The orange, black and green-toned car has a demonic spirit graphic directly inspired from the comic book on the roof and will gyrate, smoke, change colors, and emit eerie sounds that encompass everything fans love about the possession genre.

“This year has been a big one for Skybound,” said Kirkman. “We celebrated our fifth anniversary and the release of our first feature film, AIR, with Scion at San Diego Comic Con, and we’re excited to continue the partnership with the creation of the Outcast car.”

The Grand Finale

In partnership with Toyo Tires, Scion will bring all four customized vehicles to the SEMA Show, where fans can get their first up-close look at each modified edition.  Both Scion Tuner Challenge vehicle entries will be judged by a panel consisting of the previous year’s participants, Super Street magazine, GT Channel, and Speedhunters.  Scion will announce the grand prize winner of $10,000 at the L.A. Auto Show on Nov. 28, hosted by Eddie Huang.

Our thanks go to Scion for bringing Male Standard in on the action, and inviting us to these showstopping events!  We’re loving the originality and creativity that Scion is bringing to life and can’t wait to find out more about their new 2016 collection.  If this year is anything to go by then Scion are going to be changing ujp the game.  You can read our review on the featured iM by popping over to here: All New 2016 Scion iM.

Fans of the Scion Tuner Challenge can follow along by visiting for blog entries, photos, and video content. Fans can also tune into the Scion Racing Twitter and Instagram the hashtags #ScionTunerChallenge and #Scion.