Say Scion-ara As Toyota’s Youth Brand Rolls Out Final Release Series tC

NY Auto Show sees Scion’s farewell debut.

by on Mar.21, 2016

Scion plans to bring just 1,200 of the tC Release Series 10.0 coupes to the U.S.

Toyota is bidding sayonara to its youth-oriented Scion brand, but not before rolling out one last special edition making its debut this week at the New York International Auto Show.

The limited-edition take on the tC coupe was developed as part of a partnership with Kei Miura, someone known for his striking, aerodynamic takes on Japanese domestic market, or JDM, models. The new Scion tC Release Series 10.0 boasts an assortment of updates, the maker explains, aimed at enhancing performance, as well as the stock tC’s appearance, inside and out.

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“For those enthusiasts looking for a piece of history, this is a great opportunity to own our best tC ever,” says proclaimed Scion Vice President Andrew Gilleland, ahead of the NY Auto Show debut. “With the TRD performance parts, the JDM Aero Kit and the screaming red and black color scheme, it’s a fitting tribute to Scion’s mission to build cars for younger customers.”

First launched in 2003 as a way to attract a new generation of young buyer who were largely avoiding Toyota showrooms, Scion scored a series of early successes with quirky products, such as the square-as-a-box xB. In 2006, Scion sold a record 173,034 vehicles – and had the youngest average buyer age of any brand on the market. But that initial success wouldn’t last long.

The tC RS 10.0 features extensive aero modifications and lower springs.

Even with the U.S. auto industry setting an all-time record last year, Scion sales plunged to just 56,167. That was down from 58,009 in 2014 – despite the addition of a string of well-reviewed new products, including Scion’s first-ever Scion, the little iA.

(Click Here for more about the rationale behind dumping Scion.)

Scion still attracts a young and enthusiastic audience, albeit in far smaller numbers than parent Toyota had hope for. So, the idea of bringing a JDM model to the States could resonate as the brand’s final offering.

Painted in glowing Barcelona Red, the tC RS 10.0 will feature a Kei Miura aero kit that adds a front lip spoiler, rocker panels, a lower rear spoiler and a rear deck spoiler. It also gets blacked-out Scion badges and gloss black alloy wheels.

The black-and-red theme carries over into the interior with red accented sport-tuned seats, the stitching repeated on the shift boot, parking brake and steering wheel. There are also red seat belts and a sequentially numbered Release Series badge. Only 1,200 of the Release Series coupes will be available in the U.S., starting in June.

While the engine is the tC’s stock 2.5-liter inline-four it is paired with a 6-speed manual gearbox, a 6-speed sequential automatic available as an option. But the Scion tC RS 10.0 gets lowered springs from Toyota’s TRD performance division, as well as a TRD performance dual exhaust.

The limited-edition coupe features special red stitching and red seatbelts.

(After a slight detour, Scion’s C-HR finally makes its debut – as a Toyota. For more, Click Here.)

The 2016 RS 10.0 coupe will have a base price of $23,190 with the manual gearbox and $24,340 with the automatic. Add another $795 for delivery fees.

Incidentally, fans of Scion will get a chance to check out some of its more intriguing concept vehicles during the brand’s final appearance in the Big Apple. That includes:

  • 2002 BBx Concept
  • 2004 FiveAxis speedster xA
  • 2009 Kogi BBQ Truck xD
  • 2009 iQ Concept
  • 2011 FR-S Concept
  • 2014 Slayer tC

While Scion will fade away, a handful of models will live on with Toyota nameplates going forward. The Scion iA will become the Toyota Yaris iA, the iM renamed the Corolla iM. The Scion FR-S sports car will adopt its global name as the Toyota 86. Meanwhile what was to become Scion’s first SUV will now be known as the Toyota C-HR.

As for the xB and tC, they vanish along with the Scion brand itself.

(Click Here to learn how key Scion models will live on after the brand drives off into the sunset.)

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2 Responses to “Say Scion-ara As Toyota’s Youth Brand Rolls Out Final Release Series tC”

  1. JAE says:

    Paul, I’m confused by the line”…Scion’s first-ever Scion, the little iA.” Are you saying this was the first totally Scion-designed vehicle? That the previous Scions were all Toyota design with a Scion badge on them?

    • Paul A. Eisenstein says:

      Ouch, should be first-ever sedan.

      Paul E.