Scion tC

Scion tC

Scion tC is a compact car introduced by Japanese automaker Toyota in 2004 as a concept car under its recently introduced Scion brand name. The Scion tC was designed to appeal to the Generation Y market. They hoped to do so by making standard features numerous and optional features extremely easy to add. The Scion tC is generally considered Toyota's successor to the Celica whose production ended with the 2006 model year (2005 in the United States).

The Scion tC uses the chassis of the Avensis which is sold in the European market, and the Camry's 2.4 L 2AZ-FE I4 engine. Its low price (base MSRP of US$17,000 for the 2008 model) is a major feature, as well as the pure pricing marketing style that Toyota has adopted.

The name tC does not fit in with its stablemates the xA, xB, and xD, because the name xC has already been taken by Volvo for its XC60, XC70 and XC90 models. According to Scion, tC stands for "Touring Coupe."

The Scion tC received a subtle makeover in 2008, with changed front and rear lights and enhancements to the interior. The grilles changed from a honeycomb style to a metal drill out style on top and a three line plastic bar style on bottom. In the interior the seats changed to a all black instead of a black with a slight blueish gray. Also the L.E.D's changed to a brighter orange color

Specifications (2007 model)

  • Engine: 2.4 L Double Overhead Cam (DOHC) 16-valve 4-cylinder with VVT-i, compression ratio of 9.8:1.
  • Power: 161 hp (120 kW) @ 6,000 rpm / 200 hp with TRD Supercharger
  • Torque: 163 ft·lbf (220 N·m) @ 4,000 rpm / 185 ft·lbf with TRD Supercharger
  • Transmission: Standard 5-speed manual transmission or optional 4-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission
  • Highway fuel economy/consumption: 25-30 mi/U.S. gal (8.1 L/100 km) (automatic); 28-32 mi/U.S. gal (7.8 L/100 km) (manual)
  • City fuel economy/consumption: 23-28 mi/U.S. gal (10.7 L/100 km) (automatic); 24-29 mi/U.S. gal (10.7 L/100 km) (manual)
  • Fuel tank: 14.5 gal (54.9 L)
  • Brakes: 4-wheel disc brakes with anti-lock braking system
  • Curb weight: 2,970 lb (1,347 kg) (automatic); 2,905 lb (1,318 kg) (manual)
  • Displacement: 2382 cc


The Scion tC has a number of standard features including:

  • Interior: Air Conditioning, Cruise Control, Tachometer, Tilt Steering, Steering Wheel Mounted Audio Control, Tire Pressure Monitor, Pioneer AM/FM/CD Audio System with 7 speakers, including 6" subwoofer standard (2008 model), mp3 playback and iPod connection (2008), 60/40 Folding Rear Seat, and a Panoramic Moonroof/Sunroof.
  • Exterior: Automatic-off multi-reflector halogen Headlights, 17" alloy wheels, Power Windows, Power Exterior Mirrors, and Interval Windshield Wipers.
  • Safety: Power Door Locks, Vehicle Anti-Theft Engine Immobilizer, an anti-lock braking system, driver and passenger airbags, as well as a driver knee airbag, a first aid kit, and Remote Keyless Entry.

In 2007 Toyota announced the release of the tC Spec Package, a version of the tC designed primarily for tuners, who had complained about certain aspects of the car. As such, the Spec Package version uses 16" steel wheels (instead of the 17" alloys), a fixed glass panorama roof (instead of the moonroof), unique upholstery, special front-end treatments, a urethane steering wheel, and a choice of 4 colors. The Spec Package is also priced lower, starting at $15,000.

Release Series line

Beginning in late spring 2004, Scion launched the Release Series (RS) line, limited quantities of their current vehicles pre-packaged with individual numbered badging, exclusive accessories, and other special features. Limited edition vehicles from a marketing standpoint were used to create a buzz for the brandname, with their exterior colors tending to be loud or bright hues (i.e. orange, yellow, red, blue, green). Because of the growing popularity of the Scion product line and the scarce production runs (most dealers only get 2-3 of each RS model), these limited edition vehicles quickly sell out. Preordering is available at each dealership on a first-come, first-served basis. To the customer's benefit, Scion's "Pure Price" MSRP bounds dealerships against market-demand vehicle mark-up. Naturally, resale values of Release Series vehicles command a premium because of their packaged options and scarcity.


  • tC RS 1.0 only available in Absolutely Red with 2500 units produced


  • tC RS 2.0 only available in Blue Blitz Mica with 2600 units produced


  • tC RS 3.0 only available in Blizzard Pearl with 2500 units produced


  • tC RS 4.0 only available in Galactic Gray Mica with 2300 units produced


NHTSA 2006 crash test ratings

  • Side Impact Rating -
  • Side Impact Rating - Rear:
  • Frontal Crash Test - Driver:
  • Frontal Crash Test - Passenger:
  • Overall Rating:


Similar to many other models of Toyota/Lexus/Scion, there are many upgrades available through Toyota Racing Development (TRD). From as basic as oil caps to performance oriented parts including the TRD sport muffler and TRD Supercharger, there is a multitude of opportunities for tC owners to customize their vehicles. Some of these parts can help increase the power of the vehicle, where others complement the handling and braking aspects of the car. These parts are available at Scion dealers, as well as online on TRD's website,


In early 2006, a recall was issued for some 2005 and 2006 tCs due to the possibility of the glass wind deflector being shattered by debris. In late 2006, a recall was issued for 29,542 2005 and 2006 tCs due to the possibility of the side airbags deploying as a result of slamming the door forcefully.


  • With the demise of the Toyota Celica, the Scion tC is now used for the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race held during the Long Beach Grand Prix, beginning in 2006.
  • There are several drag racing Scion tCs, the most prominent of which is raced by Christian Rado.
  • There will be a rear wheel drive Scion tC competing in the 2008 D1 Grand Prix. The car will be powered by a tuned BEAMS 3S-GE engine, and will be driven by Ken Gushi.
  • For the 2008 Formula Drift year, RS*R converted a Scion tC to drive as a RWD car. This was done by using the Toyota Avensis chasis (which the Scion tC is based on and is originally an AWD platform) and converted it into a RWD car. Ken Gushi currently competes with this vehicle.
  • For the 2008 KONI Challenge season, Dan Gardner and Craig Stanton are driving a Scion tC in the Sport Touring Class.

References on television

After an insignificant amount of traditional advertising on television, the Scion tC has appeared on a few TV shows. The Scion tC was heavily promoted on a fictional talk show on the Adult Swim cartoon Frisky Dingo despite a character's opposition to the paid product placement. It was also featured in Spike TV's Bullrun. Scion tC appeared on one of the episodes of Comedy Central's Reno 911 where Officer Raineesha Williams and Officer Clementine Johnson pull up in a blue metallic Scion tC. A full scale 2006 commercial was periodically screened at AMC Theatres prior to showing movie trailers. Starting in 2007, Scion began a marked increase in advertising, especially on television. This is due to the "Little Deviants" ad campaign, harking the Scions' "customizability".


External links

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