NEW YORK – Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.’s Scion youth brand lights up speculation with the Fuse, a coupe concept unveiled today at the New York auto show here.

Like the Scion t2b (Tall Two-Box) concept of last year’s New York show, the Fuse hints at the future direction of the Scion brand.

“The Fuse is a styling exercise that presents a discussion starting point for Scion owners and other Gen Y consumers with an eye toward a versatile sports coupe,” says Mark Templin, Scion vice president. “Like previous Scion concepts, the Fuse delivers a unique statement about what the Scion brand is all about and where it is headed.”

The Fuse is powered by the same 2.4L 4-cyl. engine in the tC sports coupe. It is 174 ins. (442 cm) long, with a 106.3-in. (270-cm) wheelbase, identical to the tC’s dimensions.

Designed by Toyota’s North American design studio, Calty, and Scion’s Advanced Product Strategy Team, the auto maker says the exterior styling of the Fuse was inspired by the “Hako” super GT Japanese racing cars.

Notable front-end styling cues include a race-helmet inspired wraparound windshield that gives a panoramic view; a strong C-pillar; slim, high-mounted deep-set headlamps; and a large, rectangular air intake.

In the back of the Fuse, rear flares span the vehicle’s width and encase deep-set vertical taillamps, while dual exhausts do double duty as fog and reverse lamps, with lighting around each exhaust tip.

Light-emitting diodes are at the end of each spoke of Fuse’s 20-in. custom-machined wheels, acting as turn indicators, Toyota says.

Two horizontal glass panels, which slide open in both directions, run the length of the roof, allowing each passenger their own sunroof.

With a key-shaped sensor, Fuse’s butterfly-hinged doors open to reveal an asymmetrical pentagon with the driver’s seat at the apex, Toyota says.

A drive-by-wire steering element bridges the world of racing and video games into one module, Toyota says.

The interior concept for the Fuse is called “one plus stuff,” with the “stuff” referring to three separate interior arrangements: video, drive and cargo.

In video mode, the front passenger seat folds flat, serving as a table or footrest while passengers utilize the Fuse’s 10.5-in. (27-cm) monitors, mounted on the dash, to play video games or connect to the Internet wirelessly.

During drive mode, the screens switch off and a multi-information screen provides driver information, Toyota says.

In cargo mode, the front passenger seat and rear seats fold down to create a flat loading surface. In park, the tailgate provides outdoor seating via a built-in bench, increasing the number of occupants to more than four, Toyota says. The tailgate opens when a person sweeps their foot over a sensor in the rear bumper.

Adding to the entertainment atmosphere are rear foldout speakers and a detachable drink cooler with retractable handle, located in the Fuse’s rear center console.

Other features include a telephone key-pad-like touch control board, which runs the audio, video and heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, as well as accent lighting on seats, doors and the headliner, and deeply contoured seats.

cschweinsberg@wardsauto.com