L.A. Auto Show: Kogi BBQ Scion, with working grill, to hit the L.A. streets after auto show tour
Cooking tongs? Yup.
Spatula, cooking sauces and a sink?
Check, check and triple check.
It's all there, except arguably the most important part: the meat.
But what the Scion Kogi xD Mobile Kitchen lacks in food, it makes up for in Inspector Gadget-style cool.
The one-of-a-kind Scion xD was customized by Mike Vu and his MV Designz shop in Santa Ana for the Kogi Korean BBQ truck company that has cultivated a following by announcing on Twitter where its truck will be parked. (On Twitter, Kogi goes by @KogiBBQ.)
One taillight pops out to reveal a drawer for cooking utensils. The other hides bottles for cooking sauces and other seasonings.
The xD's trunk juts out to reveal an aluminum grill, which so far has been used only once by Kogi BBQ's chef Roy Choi.
The controls for the barbecue grill are hidden behind the car's license plate.
All of the retractable compartments are brought in or out of the car by remote control, but Vu has the car linked up to a custom application installed on his iPhone, said Craig Taguchi, a Scion spokesman.
And, of course, there are TVs and a booming stereo system to play music and video while the cooking is going on.
The shimmering tangerine-colored Scion xD was first displayed at the SEMA show in Las Vegas last month before it landed at this week's Los Angeles Auto Show. It will hit a few more auto shows before being unleashed on the streets of L.A. and Orange County, Taguchi said.
"People love the Kogi Scion; it makes everybody smile," he said. "And in a few months, after we've shown it off enough, the plan is for it to belong to Kogi and actually be used to sell food, just like the truck they drive now."
The collaboration between Kogi and Scion was a natural one, Taguchi said, noting that the youth-targeted division of Toyota has an office in Torrance that organizes similar customization efforts for car shows.
"We really like their food, so we eat at their truck a lot and we've all become friends," he said. "I can't even remember who approached who about doing this, but given that they sell their food out of a vehicle and we make vehicles and eat so much of their food, it was bound to happen."
Sadly, the Kogi Scion won't be giving any cooking demonstrations at the L.A. Auto Show, but it will be available to look at.
Taguchi said he hopes the car -- which used a base Scion xD, which sells for about $15,470 and cost about $30,000 more to customize -- will spark the imagination of show attendees.
"We want people to look at our cars as a blank canvas," Taguchi said. "We want people to customize the car any way they like. And while we doubt many people will add retractable grills to their car, it should get them thinking and hopefully excited."
-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles
Photos: Scion Kogi xD Mobile Kitchen, customized by MV Designz, on display at the L.A. Auto Show. Credit: Nathan Olivarez-Giles/Los Angeles Times