When redesigning Scion's sporty tC coupe, parent company Toyota seemingly had one goal in mind: don't mess with success. While clearly revised, Toyota eschewed a totally new look for Scion's most popular model in favor of tweaks – an inch here, a few horsepower there. That strategy also applies to the tC's price, which was announced on Friday: $18,275 for the manual, or a grand more for an automatic (before destination charge) – around 2.5 percent more than the prior model.
What other tweaks can you expect from the 2011 tC? The most obvious is an updated look. While it shares much of the old model's familiar shape, the upright A-pillars and aggressive new face trade the softer, curvaceous styling of the old model for a more masculine, sinister look. According to "USA Today," Scion designed the car to resemble a motorcycle helmet, with the windshield intended to be the sun visor.
The engine in the new tC is also new, up from last year's 2.4-liter four-cylinder to a new 2.5-liter four. With the new engine comes a slight power bump, from 161 horses in the outgoing model to a healthy 180 for 2011. Perhaps the only thing that's more than tweaked is the tC's gas mileage, which rises 3 mpg in the city and 4 mpg on the highway – a fifteen percent increase over the old model.
Size-wise, the new and old tC are very similar, with length remaining exactly the same and width increasing by less than two inches. The alloy wheels have also grown – standard eighteen-inchers replace last year's seventeens.
If you're excited about the tweaked tC, you won't need to wait long before it hits dealerships, as Scion predicts it will go on sale in October. Undoubtedly, Scion dealers can't wait, as the new tC accounts for about 40% of the automaker's sales – and marks the first new car for the youth-oriented Toyota brand since 2008.