Toyota Executive: New Scion tC to Draw on FR-S Cues


Toyota won't reveal a restyled tC sports coupe from its Scion division until Thursday, but one executive said to expect styling cues to follow the new FR-S. Bob Carter, senior vice president of automotive operations at Toyota’s U.S. arm, told reporters this morning that the FR-S' "halo" status atop the Scion brand meant the tC would follow in the same styling mold, especially in the rear. Carter spoke at the National Automobile Dealers Association/J.D. Power and Associates' 2013 Automotive Forum on the eve of this week's 2013 New York International Auto Show.

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"You’ll see family resemblance of the FRS coming over to the tC," Carter said. "But you’ll still see about $5,000 difference" in transaction prices between the two, which should keep younger shoppers heading toward Scion's front-drive coupe. That suggests the next tC won't have a radically higher price. The current car starts at $19,480 including the destination charge. The FR-S, meanwhile, starts at $25,255.

Carter confirmed the next tC will continue to be front-wheel drive, keeping differentiation from the rear-drive FR-S. Interior quality may take a big leap over the current car, whose cost-cut materials drew our criticism when Scion introduced it in mid-2010. Toyota is "obsessed with styling, both interior and exterior," Carter said.

Sales for the tC stayed roughly flat in 2012, but overall sales remain modest; the Honda Civic coupe outsold it roughly 3-to-1. Through February 2013, the FR-S already outsold Scion's front-drive coupe, despite the current tC being just three model years old. Stay tuned for our up-close impressions on the new tC at this week’s auto show.

Editor's note: This post was updated on March 29 to add the National Automobile Dealers Association to the list of the event's sponsors.

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Thaddeus Crumstuffer

Just signed the paperwork on a 2013 tC a couple weeks back. Somehow I knew this would happen and now I'll probably want to trade it in next year

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