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.