Scion tC: Same is the new different

To commemorate a decade of producing cars for customisation-practising youth, Scion unveiled a refreshed version of its plucky front-drive tC on 28 Mar at the New York auto show, in addition to special editions of the brand’s existing lineup.

Beloved by enthusiasts who appreciate the car’s non-overpowering design – the better to add one’s own flavour through customising — the tC was Scion’s first attempt at a two-door coupe, introduced to the US for the 2005 model year. For 2014, the tC receives the lightest of retouches, with revised head- and taillight arrays and new materials in the cabin. The tC’s powertrain, a 2.5-litre, four-cylinder engine producing 179 horsepower, is unchanged, as are the standard six-speed manual and available automatic transmissions.

When the 2014 tC arrives in June, it will face a more powerful Kia Forte Koup, unveiled here on 27 March. And if a would-be tC buyer has a few extra thousand dollars on hand, the tC must neutralise the tractor beam of the rear-wheel-drive FR-S sports coupe, developed in partnership with Subaru.

For its dearth of truly new products, the press conference in New York held significance for Scion and its corporate parent, Toyota, as the brand made its premiere at the show 10 years ago. In recognition, the brand will sell 10,000 copies of Scion 10 Series special editions of its xB and xD small cars, as well as its iQ supermini. The trim package consists of Silver Ignition paint, a number badge and various trim accessories.

Pricing for these and the 2014 tC will be announced closer to their sale dates.