The Scion tC doesn’t get nearly the same level of press as the FR-S. That’s a shame because the tC actually holds more appeal as a sports coupe than the FR-S since it doesn’t have to worry about having identical versions from Toyota and Subaru. For our money, the tC might actually be one of the most underrated entry-level sports coupes in its segment that’s slowly getting some traction among consumers.

That’s precisely why Scion’s decision to unveil the new tC Release Series 9.0 happened at just the right time.

The launch of the tC Release Series 9.0 comes two years after its predecessor, the tC Release Series 8.0 was launched in July 2012. In that time, the tC has undergone a massive transformation looking a lot sportier than its ever been, making Scion’s decision to launch the Release Series 9.0 was a no-brainer.

The tC Release Series 9.0 will stand out anywhere it goes, thanks to a comprehensive list of upgrades that includes a new aero kit commissioned from noted aftermarket company Cartel Customs. Scion will only build 2,000 examples of the special-edition tC so if you fancy one, be advised that the car is expected to arrive in dealerships in January 2015.

Click past the jump to read more about the Scion tC Release Series 9.0.

  • 2015 Scion tC Release Series 9.0
  • Year:
    2015
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    inline-4
  • Transmission:
    6-speed manual
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    179 @ 6000
  • Displacement:
    2.5 L
  • 0-60 time:
    6.9 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    145 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    23190
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Exterior

2015 Scion tC Release Series 9.0 High Resolution Exterior
- image 574822
2015 Scion tC Release Series 9.0 High Resolution Exterior
- image 574827
2015 Scion tC Release Series 9.0 High Resolution Exterior
- image 574824

The Scion tC Release Series 9.0’s two-tone paint scheme brings out a level of sprightliness we didn’t know the tC had in it. The Magma Orange and black finish also reminds us of two vehicles that have sported the same colors: the 2011 Lexus Is-F Club Circuit Sports Racer and more recently, the Dodge Dart R/T Concept.

In addition to the attractive colors, the tC Release Series 9.0 further distinguishes itself with a new aero kit designed by Jeremy Lookofsky of Cartel Customs, side mirrors and door handles painted with the same glass-black finish as the roof, and a set of black-finished alloy wheels.

The wheels, in particular, create a consistent look with the two-color finish of the body that makes the Magma Orange finish pop even more.

Interior

2015 Scion tC Release Series 9.0 Interior
- image 574826
2015 Scion tC Release Series 9.0 Interior Exterior
- image 574828
2015 Scion tC Release Series 9.0 Interior
- image 574832

Scion continued the two-tone color treatment inside the tC Release Series 9.0. The predominantly black cabin received plenty of orange details, including vibrant stitching on the seats, steering wheel, and front seat belts. Splashes of orange paint can also be found on the steering wheel, door panels, shifter surround, and dashboard components.

Cartel Customs floor and cargo mats round out the interior upgrades on the tC Release Series 9.0.

Drivetrain

2015 Scion tC Release Series 9.0 Exterior
- image 574830

The Scion tC Release Series 9.0 is powered by a standard 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that pumps out 179 horsepower and 173 pound-feet of torque. The output is relatively strong for its segment and while we’ve pushed Scion to squeeze out more power out of that engine, we understand the rationale of wanting to steal the FR-S’ sales..

Still, the tC is capable of sprinting from 0 to 60 mph in 6.9 seconds, adding a little go to complement the tC Release Series 9.0’s more aggressive appearance.

The tC Release Series 9.0 does include one mild performance upgrade, which is a set of TRD lowering springs.

Prices

2015 Scion tC Release Series 9.0 Emblems and Logo Exterior
- image 574833

Scion is offering two versions of the tC Release Series 9.0. The cheaper alternative is the Series 9.0 Manual, which retails for $23,190. Meanwhile, the automatic trim goes for $24,340.

The prices are a little over $4,000 more than a standard tC, but it should be worth the extra payments considering the upgrades on this limited-edition model.

Model Price
Scion tC Release Series 9.0 Manual $23,190
Scion tC Release Series 9.0 Automatic $24,340

Competition

Kia Forte Koup

2014 Kia Forte Koup SX High Resolution Exterior
- image 499544

The most obvious competitor for the Scion tC is another entry level coupe that isn’t getting the attention it deserves. I’m talking about the Kia Forte Koup.

The 2015 Forte Koup was the beneficiary of Kia’s new design language. That helps the car exude a sportier personality, at least compared to the sleepy-eyed look of the previous design.

Improved looks aside, the Forte Koup’s engine options provide customers a chance to pick which one suits it best. The entry-level Koup EX gets a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine with 173 horsepower and 154 pound-feet of torque while the more powerful Koup SX has a 1.6-liter, turbocharged, four-cylinder engine under its hood, good enough to pump out 201 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. The Koup SX is able to sprint fro 0 to 60 mph in about seven seconds.

The Kia Forte Koup has a retail price that begins at $18,590 for the EX trim and goes all the way up to $20,590 for the SX trim.

Honda Civic Coupe

2014 - 2015 Honda Civic High Resolution Exterior
- image 535421

Another two-door that figures to give the Scion tC a run for its money is the Civic Coupe.

In my mind, the Civic is the most dynamic of the three cars, thanks to a reshaped front bumper-and-grille combination. But it also has the least powerful engine. Three of the Civic’s trim options — the LX, EX, and EX-L — are powered by a 1.8-liter, inline-four engine that pumps out 143 horsepower and 129 pound-feet of torque. This leaves the Civic Coupe Si, which comes with a 2.4-liter inline-four engine that produces 205 horsepower and 174 pound-feet of torque, as the only competitor for the Forte SX and the tC.

Pricing for the 2015 Civic begins at $18,290 for the LX trim. The EX trim retails for $20,390 while the EX-L goes for $22,640. Finally, the Civic Si starts at $22,790 for the Coupe 6MT trim all the way up to $24,490 for the Coupe 6MT with Summer Tires & Navi options.

Conclusion

2015 Scion tC Release Series 9.0 High Resolution Exterior
- image 574823

The Scion tC Release Series 9.0’s entire package offers a nice blend of improved looks and subtle performance updates. I don’t advise anybody looking for a top-flight sports car to consider the tC as an option, but for those who are on a budget and looking for an aggressively styled entry-level sports coupe, the tC Release Series 9.0 is a pretty good option to have.

Make up your mind though because only 2,000 models will be built. Once these bad-boys hit dealerships, I don’t think they’ll stay there very long.

  • Leave it
    • No engine upgrades
    • Don’t expect it to be a world-beater
    • Might be not worth the hassle of losing out on one

Press Release

Vibrant magma orange and designer details transform the new Scion tC Release Series 9.0 into a driver’s show car. Scion joined forces with Jeremy Lookofsky of Cartel Customs to create the limited edition, two-tone version of the sports coupe.

2015 Scion tC Release Series 9.0 High Resolution Exterior
- image 574823

Scion will produce just 2,000 of the tC Release Series 9.0 vehicles which will feature a unique black and magma exterior, an aero kit designed by Cartel Customs, a center exhaust, a Smart Key with Push Button Start featuring the “Cartel Logo” and orange front seat belts.

Orange stitching carries the theme through to the steering wheel and seats, while orange paint adds an exotic look to dashboard components, door panels and shifter surround. The blacked out Scion badge brings a final aggressive detail to the front face.

“The Scion tC Release Series 9.0 stands out from the crowd with a bold exterior look and high-end details,” said Scion Vice President Doug Murtha. “This limited series tC will excite drivers looking for a show car they can drive every day.”

2015 Scion tC Release Series 9.0 High Resolution Exterior
- image 574824

Other features of tC Release Series 9.0 include:

  • Black finish alloy wheels with matching center cap
  • Gloss black finish side mirrors and door handles
  • Release Series badge mirror cover
  • Toyota Racing Development lowering springs
  • High-profile rear spoiler
  • Cartel logo floor and cargo mats
    2015 Scion tC Release Series 9.0 Interior
- image 574826

The series vehicles will come with either six-speed manual transmission or a six-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters and Dynamic Rev Management® technology. The manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) will be $23,190 for the manual transmission and $24,340 for the automatic transmission, excluding the delivery, processing and handling (DPH) fee of $770.

The cars are expected to arrive in dealerships in January 2015.

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