When Scion’s tC first debuted in 2004, the youth-marketed coupe was viewed quite rightly as the heir to big brother Celica’s kingdom. Two years later, as the Celica left the scene, all eyes (and sales) turned to the tC. With its simple good looks, myriad options, and tuner-friendly platform, the four-cylinder was poised to continue the Japanese marque’s sports car heritage. By the time the second generation coupe debuted at the New York Auto Show in April, enthusiasts and executives alike were wondering what the newest iteration of Scion’s flagship would bring; it’s safe to say that none of the involved parties were disappointed.
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The engineers have been hard at work throughout the car; as expected, the soul has remained the same but the heart has changed. The Scion’s powerplant is still Camry-based, but now boasts 180bhp, up from 161. Larger brakes and electric power steering are now offered, and the impressive list of of standard equipment includes stability control and larger wheels (which fill the wells perfectly).
Like the tC’s audience, the car has grown up a little bit since we saw it last. Overall, the front is toned down, adopting the look of the current Camry’s headlights and utilizing a minimalist grille that contrasts nicely with the car’s blacked-out A-pillars. The rear taillights are a nice feature that bear resemblance to BMW’s 1-series, and the rear diffuser is a sporty touch that maintains the theme as well. While tC has undeniably evolved, the body size and shape are nearly identical. The only change is slight; the car’s wider track and now-standard 18-inch wheels give it a more impressive stance. The body lines are crisper as well; the hood’s creases and high, sharp beltline give the tC a terrific side profile.
Looking at the total package of the second-generation Scion tC, it’s apparent that the vehicle is here to stay. With other affordable sports cars missing in action or mired in mediocrity, the tC promises to maintain its hold on the market by combining solid engineering with chiseled good looks and a potent powerplant. We’re looking forward to seeing it dominate the streets after its debut this fall.