By on March 31, 2010

Due to the poor planning of yours truly, TTAC won’t have its own New York Auto Show photography until a bit later in the week. But then, it’s also beginning to look like Toyota won’t have a real sports coupe worth mentioning until the FT-86 comes out sometime around 2012. Hey, nobody’s perfect. Meanwhile, let’s try to enjoy what we do have: press shots of a warmed-over, front-drive cute-coupe. Scion swears the tC’s 2.5 liter engine and platform (McPherson front/Double Wishbone rear) are “all new,” but it’s not enough to make you forget that a $25k, RWD, boxer-engined “true” sports coupe is coming from Toyota in a few short years. Which is good for patient enthusiasts, but not so great for the Scion brand.

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22 Comments on “2011 Scion tC: Another Reason To Wait For The FT-86...”


  • avatar
    Bancho

    At least it’s an improvement over the existing tC. One thing in particular that I like is the hatchback. I wish more cars would do this since trunk openings have gotten so small.

  • avatar
    Paul Niedermeyer

    “All new” as in the new Camry’s engine and the underpinnings of the latest generation of the Toyota Avensis.

  • avatar
    discoholic

    It’s so boxy it should come with a pair of shoes. Calling this a coupé is like saying a Hummer is an SUV – technically true, but really a perversion of the term.

    Moreover, by stressing that everything is “all new”, Toyota sort of acknowledged it looks exactly like the old model. Which didn’t exactly make people trample the dealers’ doors down either.

    Oh, and the platform is only slightly more sporty than the aforementioned Hummer. Nice one, Toyota.

  • avatar
    Demetri

    Not bad other than the lame spoiler. So it’s not an FT-86, so what? It’s costs a lot less money. I’m digging what I’m reading so far. 180hp. 6-speed. Better handling. Better fuel economy. Price it at 17 grand and I might go for one.

    • 0 avatar
      Quentin

      My opinion as well. Seems like Toyota is fixing all the issues that the old tC had. Basically, it is a pretty good Celica, IMO.

    • 0 avatar
      Demetri

      It looks like they’ve upgraded most of the interior too, although some of the materials have an unappealing, graphite-like texture that hopefully looks better in person, and the carpeting looks really bad. I’m guessing the sound system is pretty decent. If you look at the door, it has a separate mid-bass (doesn’t look any bigger than 6.5in so I don’t know if you could really call it a sub), mid-range, and tweeter driver. The head unit has USB input and is a standard DIN style, so you could easily swap it out if you didn’t like it. The spoiler that I didn’t like isn’t standard. The number I’m seeing is $17,800, which is pretty good considering the standard equipment, although it would be nice if they offered a stripped model for even less. Maybe it’s because I just read about the Mazda 2 costing 14,700 and only having 100hp, but this new tC isn’t looking too bad. I’ll be interested to see what Honda has to offer with the 2011 Civic Coupe.

  • avatar
    gslippy

    While I agree with you about the Scion brand, the tC at $18k makes no pretense of competing with $25k sports coupes. It’s an entry-level car at a 25% lower price point.

    When the FT-86 arrives, maybe it should be compared to the 412-HP Mustang GT at $32k, which is only another $7k? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/review-2011-ford-mustang-gt/

  • avatar
    srogers

    I like it. I wish that Toyota sold them here (in Canada). Maybe I’d like the Forte Koup better anyway.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      I believe the intent is to sell Scion in Canada in 2011/12

      Frankly, I’m surprised they didn’t from the get-go. Scion’s stuff—especially the xD and xB—would sell very well here. I recall that grey-market Gen1 xBs were going for double their American MSRP in US$ AT Canadian dealers and only the presence of the Echo hatchback prevented the same for the xA.

  • avatar
    Aggressor

    Scion: we make boxes like Volvo’s going out of style

    But what were you expecting. If they released a “super sexy curvy” tC, we’d all be pointing out how pointless it is that they release a “sports coup” when the FT-86 (ok, enoughs enough, can we start giving cars real names again?) is nigh.

  • avatar
    Russycle

    Not crazy about the profile, but the front and rear aren’t bad. 180 horses and a 6-speed? I could live with it.

  • avatar

    I really did expect the FT86 to come here as a Scion. Even a detuned version. This just isn’t competitive or interesting and shows that Toyota is determined to make the Scion the blandest and least interesting youth brand ever.

    • 0 avatar
      Demetri

      Competitive compared to what though? This is mainly competing with the 2-door versions of the Civic, Forte, Focus, Golf, and also probably the Tiburon and 4-cylinder Eclipse. It looks like it compares pretty favorably.

  • avatar
    N8iveVA

    Didn’t care for this car before, and still don’t. It’s that acre of empty space between the door and the rear wheel, combined with the stubby rear, makes the proportions look terrible to me.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    It’s a real pity that, given this is pretty much an Avensis coupe, that we don’t see the other Avensises (Avensii?) as well. There’s a market, albeit a small one, but one Scion could play in, for the Avensis wagon and Verso.

  • avatar
    amac

    Another fugly appliance from Toyota. Zzzzzzz…

  • avatar
    daga

    Kind of like an angular Saab

  • avatar
    Steven Lang

    I have been a hardcore Celica enthusiast ever since the 1st All-Trac hit our shores. The Tc should really be called a Celica at this point.

    The name still has a lot of cache with a large segment of our population. Throw in an AWD All-Trac version, smooth out the anguloid edges of this model, and you may really have something.

    The powertrain sounds nice. But I see way too much 2nd gen Xb in this design. The spoiler doesn’t even look like it belongs with the car and the new Scion interiors are just riddled with hideous deformed pieces of plastic.

    • 0 avatar
      rocketrodeo

      I suspect the FT86 will be badged as a Celica when it arrives. There’s way too much brand equity in that name to just throw it away, and Toyota isn’t very big on alphanumeric names, to their credit.

  • avatar
    L'avventura

    Honestly, given the market demographics of Scion Tc owners, I would rather they kept it a FWD coupe rather then a RWD ‘sport’ coupe. In fact, I usually recommend FWD cars to most non-enthusiast drivers when asked.

    “Sportiness” is easily confused with poor quality. Stiff suspensions, tight steering, aural feedback from the engine, lack of excessive understeering, etc.

    In the last East-coast snow storm you’d be surprised by how many people around me complained about how poorly their 3-series handled, as it fish-tailed in slippery conditions. Quite the contrary I decried. And this is considering how much modern RWD vehicles have progressed in terms of stability in slippery conditions.

    180hp, FWD, 6-speed Auto, ~$17K, sounds about right for this car.

  • avatar
    outdoorplaces

    Well, the retiring of the 5-speed M/4-speed A is nothing but goodness. The engine specs are OK, but there are plenty of 2.5L 4 bangers out there in the 170 to 200 HP range. So that’s mep. Toyota’s claim of better steering feel via their electric steering makes me go puh-lease.

    A Mazda 3s Sport stickers for $19K, and I would suspect is going to have vastly better road feel. The VW Golf starts at $17K and change, with a 170HP 2.5L engine under the hood, and again, I’m going to guess with better driving dynamics.

    If you start slapping options on the tC lets face it, you get into Altima 2.5 coupe or Genesis 2.0T coupe pricing pretty quick.

    For giggles I built a 2010 Scion and after putting on 18″ wheels, giving it a limited slip differential and a security system, I was equal to the price of a 2011 Mustang V6. Sorry, but if I want a remotely performance oriented coupe, for $23K the Hyundai Genesis or Mustang V6 kicks this offering into the ground.

    The FJ-86 should wear the Scion name, that will be the real contender. And if the FJ is going to come in at a similar price point (or even 10% to 15% higher) I don’t see why anyone would buy a 2012 Scion tC.

    • 0 avatar
      Demetri

      “If you start slapping options on the tC lets face it, you get into Altima 2.5 coupe or Genesis 2.0T coupe pricing pretty quick.”

      You could say that about anything if you start tossing on non-factory options. Scions come with all of the popular options standard basically, so there’s not much reason to pay more than MSRP.

      And honestly, as a driver of the Mazda 3, I don’t think that the current model tC handles worse. I think the problem is that people are comparing it to the Civic Si or Miata. And for as much bawing there is about this having a Camry engine, isn’t the FT-86 going to have the Impreza’s 2.4 boxer?


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