Voodoo Blue is a paint scheme so intense my 87 year-old grandmother noticed it through her screen door at night on a street with no street lamps.
“My goodness, what is that?” she marveled, peering out towards the 2011 Scion xB parked at the curb.
Grandma was raised just outside of New Orleans. She paused at the name of the color:
“…I like it. It’s VERY blue!”
Her reaction to the XB proved to be more foreboding than could have been anticipated. When it arrived in front of my apartment several days earlier it was immediately apparent Scion hadn’t sent a usual XB to review for the week.
What they delivered was a limited production xB Release Series 8.0 (xb RS) equipped with a four-piece Kenstyle body kit, sun roof, blue-accented upholstery, low-profile tires, 18inch wheels and exclusive Voodoo Blue paint that possessed an almost supernatural intrigue.
As I signed the loan agreement a heavily medicated street person stopped dead in his tracks and stared breathlessly at the xB as if trying to decide whether he was having a particularly good morning or if other people could see Voodoo Blue as well.
“What’s that color?!” he demanded.
When I told him he shook his head and continued down the street.
“Well it’s too blue for me!” he yelled over his shoulder.
Later in the parking lot of my day job I took a moment to take a sip of coffee before heading in to work.
A sea of hands clamored against the tinted driver's window trying to get inside. Before the fear of zombie could set in the fingers parted to reveal two of my coworkers’twenty-something year-old faces.
Curious. When I had shown them pictures of the xB earlier they hadn’t liked its smoothed-out body lines as much as the chic boxier look of the previous model years. Their general consensus seemed to be the xB was losing its edgy cool factor year by year as its ‘hip young thing’ curb-appeal washed into the mainstream.
And yet here were two fashionable young professionals banging on the windows to get a closer look at the new xB as if it were a boarded-up mall chalk full of human brains.
Once inside and after asking what the color was they set to work inspecting the next most important thing our target demographic looks for in a new car: The audio system.
Scion is hip to this groove. The xB comes standard with a six-speaker Pioneer sound system with iPod interface, auxiliary audio jack, RCA output to accommodate even more speakers and a customizable head unit display. The serious audiophile can upgrade to an Alpine system with a touchscreen interface, "media expander" that improves digital music quality and a knob that mimics the controls on an iPod.
Our xB was equipped with the latter. An iPod materialized from someone’s pocket and soon bass music was thumping off the walls of our office. It was decided we didn’t need to be at work for another ten minutes and it would be harder to attract a noise complaint while moving.
Cruising around the block the truth came out that none of us had ever been in an xB previously and in turn had formed several egregiously misinformed views of the car. Specifically the xB was not in fact a cramped little sweat-box hardly large enough to transport hipsters with dangerously skinny legs and even skinnier black jeans to techno clubs.
Despite what the exterior might imply the xB actually has more maximum cargo space than most of the competition in its class and even a handful of midsize SUVs. Passenger space is startlingly ample as well, especially in the rear seats where there’s room for a pair of well-fed six-foot tall men or a half dozen malnourished hipster kids.
After work I drove the xB to a mall and left it in a particularly dark parking garage below the building. On the way out the face of an elderly Haitian toll booth operator lit up at the sight of the xB.
“New car?” he asked.
I said it was. He asked what the color was called. When I told him he paused and ran his eyes over it once more:
“Voodoo Blue…Very nice.”