2014 - 2015 Scion tC Sports Coupe

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With the exception of the FR-S , Scion has long been a brand we pretty much shied away from. Not that there’s anything wrong with it; it’s just not the type of automaker that we follow. However, when Scion began teasing the fact that it was set to unveil an all-new tC at the 2013 New York International Auto Show, our ears perked up just a little bit.

For those that don’t remember, the tC was, at one time, the talk of Scon, as it was the only real “sports” model that the econo-box manufacturer offered. However, when Scion redesigned the model in 2011, it left a whole lot to be desired.

Well, with all of the teasing coming out of the Scion offices about the 2014 tC, we should be ready for something that’ll take our breath away, right?

Updated 05/15/2014: Scion today announced prices for the 2015 tC, plus a series of small updates that will make the sports car even more pleasant to drive. The model gets two new colors: Cosmic Gray replaces Classic Silver and Super White, while the automatic models will get steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters. Prices will start from $19,210 for the manual version and $20,360 for the automatic one.

Click past the jump to find out if the tC impressed or fell on its face

Exterior

Scion tC Sports Coupe

All we can do is sit back and admire the genius that is Scion. They pulled off taking the design elements of the FR-S and slapping them on the tC without making it look too much like its younger, sportier brother. Up front, the tC borrows from the FR-S, the trapezoidal lower grille with an embedded “tC” logo, angular fog light beds on each extremity of the bumper and angular headlights. Now, the tC doesn’t simply hijack these features. It takes them and changes them just enough to make them fit the overall design of the new sports coupe.

Also added to the front end are accent LEDs outlining the far edges of the tC’s much improved front end. The hood also get a mild revision, as it now features a sharp ridge that gives the face just a little more off that “Get outta my way” look.

Down the side of the new tC, it’s not new at all, with the exception of a more pronounced shoulder line. What really disappoints us is that the rear-quarter window remains in the same funky form it did in the last generation. We understand that Scion’s image is a unique one and this strange window is an attempt to retain that, but it looks just about as out of place as a ballet dancer in shoulder pads.

When you come around to the backside, the changes restart, as the boring old bumper has been ripped to shreds and a new, more stylized unit takes its place with a black-out valance just below it – another design cue borrowed from the FR-S. You also get a new set of vertical reflectors on the bumper’s edges and an awesome set of clear LED taillights to add a sportier look to the formerly bland rump.

Setting off the entire car is a set of new wheels sized 18 inches and coated in a dark grey.

You can order the tC in seven different colors, which includes two all-new hues: Absolutely Red and Blue Streak Metallic.

Interior

Scion tC Sports Coupe

When it comes to the interior of the new tC, you need to keep in mind that this still considered a value-oriented car. On the inside, you will first notice that the Scion tC Scion tC now includes plusher material, so it doesn’t carry that cheap feeling that so many economy cars have. We’re not too sure exactly what Scion upgraded in the materials department, but from what we’re looking at, the interior looks pretty darn similar to the 2013 model.

Scion tC Sports Coupe

Where the 2014 model really distinguishes itself is in standard equipment, which includes a standard Display Audio with a 6.1-inch LCD touchscreen and a new audio system that features Bluetooth connectivity, HD Radio and steering-wheel-mounted controls.

The tC does offer an optional audio upgrade to a Scion BeSpoke Premium Audio System, which features Aha. This allows you to access 30,000 free radio stations and Scion’s signature stations – 17 in total –all through your smartphone.

More details will come once Scion releases the model.

Standard Interior Features

  • Display Audio
  • 6.1-inch LCD touchscreen
  • Audio system with Bluetooth connectivity and HD Radio
  • Steering-wheel-mounted audio controls

Available Options

  • Scion BeSpoke Premium Audio System

Drivetrain

Scion tC Sports Coupe

We were expecting this, but Scion still disappoints us by carrying over the same 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine from the second generation. This engine is relatively powerful with 179 horsepower at 6,000 rpm, but there is definitely room to grow this engine a little. Heck, even a turbocharged model shouldn’t be out of the question. Sure, that may put it over the FR-S’ 200 horsepower, but tC buyers and FR-S buyers are two completely different animals.

As standard, the four-cylinder engine hooks up to a six-speed manual transmission, but you can opt for an updated six-speed automatic transmission. This new auto unit features Dynamic Rev Management technology, just like the FR-S, which blips the throttle to match the engine and transmission rpms on downshifts. This leads to less wear and tear on the drivetrain and a far sportier driving experience.

Because this drivetrain is essentially a carryover from 2013, we expect much of the same performance. The manual-transmission-equipped tC will hit 60 mph in a zippy 7.3 seconds – same as last year – but the automatic will likely see a small drop in acceleration time to about 7.7 seconds, which is 0.3 seconds faster than last year. These numbers are our best estimates, as Scion has not officially released its track times.

We’re still holding out for the turbo tC and we bet it will come at some point within its lifespan.

Suspension and Brakes

Scion tC Sports Coupe

Though the engine was left untouched from 2012, the suspension did not suffer the same fate. Scion retooled the handling characteristics of the tC via additional spot welds to make the body a little more rigid, modified stabilizer bar hardware and optimized shocks. Adding to its responsiveness is a retuned electronic power steering system that gives you a more traditional feel with lightning fast response times.

The brakes are still a relative unknown, but we will assume that t has your basic four-wheel disc setup.

Pricing

The all-new 2014 Scion tC will start at $19,210 for the base model with a six-speed manual transmission and the base automatic model will start at $20,210.

2015 Scion tC prices

SCION tC (MT)$19,210
SCION tC (AT)$20,360

Competition

2014 Hyundai Veloster

Hyundai Veloster Turbo

We’re not expecting anything new from the Veloster in 2014, so we will likely just see a carryover model. This means the Veloster will come standard with a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that huffs and puffs its way to 138 horsepower. This gets the Veloster to 60 mph in a sloth-like 9.5 seconds.

The Veloster Turbo is a worthy adversary, thanks to its 201-horsepower powerplant that drops its 0-to-60 mph time to only 7.7 seconds. Still slower than the Scion, sure, but it is still worth a look.

2014 Kia Forte Koup SX

Kia Forte Koup SX

Who would have ever though that Kia would come this far in its lifespan? The2014 Forte is not only redesigned, but it now includes a 201-horsepower 2.0-liter GDI powerplant that also cranks out 195 pounds of twist. It is actually sharing the showroom floor in New York with the new Scion as we speak but we are a little uncertain about its legitimacy as a competitor. See, in 2013, the Forte SX included a 2.4-liter engine with “only” 173 horsepower, which kept it to an affordable $18,800. Now with this turbocharged plant, the Koup SX may be priced out of the contest.

If it is still within the Scion’s price range, the tC had better watch out because this bad boy will smoke it and look better in the process.

10 Series tC

Scion tC Sports Coupe

The 10 Series line is a celebratory one in commemoration of the Scion brand’s 10th anniversary of its existence. Every 2014 model will feature a 10 Series model, the tC included. On the 10 Series tC, you will see an exclusive Silver Ignition paintjob, an illuminated “Scion Scion ” badge when you enter the car that fades to reveal a “10” after you close the door, silver seat belts, a solar-powered illuminated gear-shift knob, and an LED Scion indicator that lights up when you unlock the doors.

Only 10,000 10 Series models will be produced, but the number allotted to the tC was not released. The 10 Series will hit showrooms in June 2013. The 10 Series tC will start at $21,440 for a manual transmission model and the automatic model will start at $22,440.

Conclusion

Scion tC Sports Coupe

We love what Scion did with the front and rear of the tC, but the side really needed more work. We’re also missing any upgraded engine; thought the base engine is relatively powerful. We can only hope that there will be an option to upgrade the engine at some point in the future. At the very least, you always have Scion’s customization program to upgrade your tC.

Overall, we think the tC is a good buy, but you definitely want to consider the new Forte Koup SX.

LOVE IT
  • Sexy new front and rear ends
  • Upgraded transmission blips the throttle
  • Styling cues from the FR-S
LEAVE IT
  • Same old 2.5-liter engine
  • Looks the same from the side
  • Interior looks oddly similar to the 2012 model

Press Release

New, Sportier 2014 Scion tC Debuts at New York International Auto Show

Limited-Production Scion 10 Series Models Celebrate Brand’s 10th Anniversary

Scion tC Sports Coupe

NEW YORK (March 28, 2013) – Scion revealed the new 2014 tC sports coupe at the New York International Auto Show, showing off a sporty new look, upgraded interior and an enhanced driving experience for the brand’s top-selling vehicle.

“The sustained success of the tC, which accounts for 40 percent of all Scions ever sold, challenged designers to enhance the 2014 sports coupe in ways that keep it exciting to today’s drivers without losing its core appeal,” said Doug Murtha, Scion vice president. “The outstanding result is a 2014 tC with a sportier style and driving experience that will thrill buyers and hold its unique spot in the marketplace.”

Aggressive Look with New Exterior Design and 18-Inch Wheels

Scion tC Sports Coupe

The 2014 Scion tC is defined by more assertive styling, starting from the front with distinctive new headlamps and an all-new hood that extends lower toward a more open, muscular grille with an embedded tC logo. The new upper- and lower-grille treatments are bordered by LED accent lighting.

Beneath the rear bumper, a new black-out valance features an FR-S style, lower-center trim piece and lower perimeter reflectors; new advanced LED tail lamps complete the picture. New 18-inch alloy wheels with 225/45R18 tires carry the aggressive character through to the car’s profile. Standard on the tC, the wheels feature a premium dark gray finish, contrasted by eye-catching machined-spoke surfaces.

The tC will be available in seven exterior paint colors, including two new additions, Absolutely Red and Blue Streak Metallic.

Upgraded Materials and Scion Standard Display Audio Enhance Interior

Scion tC Sports Coupe

The 2014 Scion tC’s cabin adds new technology, additional convenience features and upgraded materials. The tC will be the first model in the family to come with the all-new Scion Standard Display Audio, featuring a 6.1-inch LCD touchscreen. The system will be incorporated into all 2014 Scion models, making Scion the industry’s first non-luxury brand to feature a touchscreen audio system as standard equipment across its entire lineup. The new audio system comes equipped with features that Scion drivers will enjoy, including Bluetooth® compatibility, HD Radio™ Technology and steering wheel-mounted controls.

The new base audio system will be joined by an available, all-new Scion BeSpoke Premium Audio system featuring Aha™. This upgraded system includes full navigation, as well as the ability to connect compatible smart phones through Aha to access 30,000 free audio stations, including Scion’s own signature station featuring a lineup of its 17 music channels. In addition to audiobook stations, sports, news and entertainment, the Aha service utilizes location–based services like Yelp and TripAdvisor, and integrates most of the popular social media applications, all at a great value for consumers.

Added convenience features for the 2014 tC include auto-off headlamps and an auto-up and down driver’s window. The interior is upgraded with premium materials and lighter color fabric on the seats and the headliner.

Sportier Automatic Transmission and Enhanced Dynamic Handling

Getting there will be more than half the fun in the 2014 tC. Its 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine delivers 179 horsepower at 6,000 RPM, and it is available either with a six-speed manual transmission or an updated six-speed automatic that can change gears nearly twice as fast as the previous model for both upshifts and downshifts. The automatic transmission now features Dynamic Rev Management technology, adopted from the FR-S, which quickly blips the engine to match its revs to gear ratios on downshifts, limiting driveline shock and adding to the visceral experience of driving the car.

Handling is enhanced by making modifications to stabilizer bar hardware, optimizing the shock absorbers, and by increasing the body rigidity with additional spot welds. Driving enthusiasts will also appreciate the retuned electronic power steering that provides a more engaging response. Together, these changes help the new tC to deliver a sportier, fun-to-drive experience behind the wheel. The 2014 Scion tC will arrive in dealerships in June.

Limited-Production Scion 10 Series Models Celebrate Scion’s 10th Anniversary

Scion tC Sports Coupe

In 2003, the first Scion xA and xB vehicles heralded the launch of the Scion brand, which was designed to bring new buyers into the Toyota family and appeal to emerging, younger drivers. The brand has accomplished both, and today it is recognized as having among the youngest median age drivers in the industry. Since its introduction, 75 percent of Scion owners have been new to the Toyota family.

“The Scion 10 Series celebrates 10 years of the brand’s passionate approach, iconic products and success inviting a new, younger buyer to the Toyota family,” Murtha said. “Scion heads into its second decade revved up by a strong product line that continues to stand out on the road.”

To celebrate Scion’s 10th anniversary, Scion will launch a limited-production version of each vehicle in its lineup called Scion 10 Series. Every Scion 10 Series car will be painted a premium color: Silver Ignition. The anniversary message continues when the driver enters the car to see the Scion name illuminated on the dash before fading to reveal the number 10. The unique models will number a total of 10,000 vehicles, which will begin arriving in dealerships in June.

Other stand-out features include silver seat belts, a solar-powered illuminated shift knob and an LED Scion locator badge that lights up when the car is unlocked. Each vehicle also carries a sequentially numbered interior badge. The xB, iQ, and xD will feature unique alloy wheels in a graphite finish.

The Scion 10 Series FR-S also comes equipped with HID headlamps with integrated LED daytime running lamps, dual automatic climate controls and a smart key with push-button start ignition.

Watch the New York Auto Show reveal of the new 2014 Scion tC sports coupe and Scion 10 Series models by visiting www.Scion.com/live.


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