Patrick Rall's picture

The 2014 Scion tC debuts in New York with some FR-S flare

Among the new model debuts on display right now at the 2013 New York International Auto Show is the refreshed 2014 Scion tC which features a host of features both inside and out that have been featured on the popular Scion FR-S – including a sharpened exterior that gives the tC a great deal more family attitude.
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The most significant changes made to the 2014 Scion tC take place on the outside where both the front and rear end of the compact front wheel drive sports coupe features styling cues from the popular rear wheel drive FR-S. Up front, the most noticeable new feature is the large lower grille opening that carries a six sided design that is very similar to that seen on the FR-S. This new grille is flanked by a set of fog light bezels that run top to bottom along the outer edge of the front fascia which - while being very different from the FR-S in their basic design – follow similar design cues to the hot selling rear drive coupe. Next, the 2014 tC has been fitted with a set of sharply angled headlights and a redesigned hood that combine to give the new sports coupe an angry, aggressive look. This front end should go a long way in helping tC compete with the likes of the Honda Civic Coupe and the Kia Forte Coupe.

Along the sides, the 2014 Scion tC bears the same shape as the current models but the company has added a new, sportier set of 18” lightweight wheels wearing dark painted pockets and a bright machined face. Out back, a new rear fascia with a contrasting black lower portion with an integrated triangular red reflector work with a set of clear lens taillights to further the FR-S styling treatment – while also helping to give the 2014 tC a sportier attitude.

On the inside, the 2014 Scion tC is the first company vehicle to feature the standard Scion Display Audio system with a big, bright 6.1 touch screen coupled with steering wheel controls, Bluetooth compatability and HD radio. Those who want a little more performance out of their sound system can opt for the Scion BeSpoke audio system that includes a navigation program and access to almost 30,000 radio channels via the Aha software.

The 2014 Scion tC is powered by the same 2.5L 4 cylinder engine as the current models with a standard 6 speed manual transmission but those who opt for the 6 speed automatic transmission will be privy to a more engaging driving experience than the current self shifting models. To make the automatic tC more fun to drive, Scion has fitted this gearbox with a Dynamic Rev Management that was adapted from the FR-S which includes a rev matching program to allow for crisper, cleaner shifts. I have logged a few hundred miles in an FR-S with the automatic transmission and while the manual gearbox is still more fun – the rev matching and “blip shift” feature make that automatic a ton more fun to drive. It also allows a great deal more shifting control during stints of spirited driving while being easier on the engine and transmission during those hard shifts. Also, to improve the handling and ride quality of the 2014 Scion tC, a new stabilizer bar, new shocks and a stiffer chassis further improve the driving experience of the new front drive sports coupe.

The Scion tC is the brand’s bestselling vehicle with roughly 40% of their sales coming from that one vehicle and with the aggressive exterior refresh for the 2014 model year, the tC should do a fine job of complementing the FR-S to form a one-two punch of sports coupes with something for those who want front or wheel drive.


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