• Feb 9th 2009 at 4:31PM
  • 25
Click above to enlarge the Scion tC Release Series 5.0

Another Chicago Auto Show, another mildly refreshed Scion tC Release Series. For those keeping track, this is Release Series 5.0, but unlike previous limited-edition models, the modifications aren't limited to a new hue and set of rims. The best bits are found beneath the gloss black paint and matte black 18-inch wheels, where Scion seems to have thrown the entire TRD parts catalog at the tC RS 5.0. The tC benefits from lowering springs, a rear sway bar, sport muffler and badging, along with an optional rear lip spoiler. Inside, the blacked-out TRD theme continues with a leather-covered steering wheel, black seats and TRD-badged floor mats. The monochromatic scheme is broken up with red stitching inside and red stripes on the multi-spoke rims.

A total of 2,000 R.S. 5.0's are slated for production, and sales will begin in March. Pricing seems reasonable, with the TRD-infused package adding $2,300 to the base price of the standard tC. It's a decent car to be sure, but considering the tC is entering its fifth year on the market with very few updates, Scion needs to do more with its coupe. Stay tuned for live shots from Chicago.



TORRANCE, Calif., Feb. 9, 2009 -- Scion, of Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc., announced today that the only limited-production tC for 2009, the tC Release Series 5.0 (tC RS 5.0), will have a Toyota Racing Development (TRD) theme and be available at dealer showrooms in March. The 2009 tC RS 5.0 will be on display in the Scion space at the Chicago Auto Show, February 11-22, for media and public days.

The 2009 tC RS 5.0 features gloss black exterior paint and numerous performance products from TRD. TRD edition 18-inch multi-spoke alloy wheels, in matte black with red trim, and red TRD lowering springs provide this tC with its menacing presence. For additional stability when cornering, the tC is fitted with a red TRD rear sway bar. A TRD sport muffler gives the tC RS 5.0 an aggressive sound signature, while a TRD exterior badge marks the car. A black rear lip spoiler will also be available.

The TRD theme is continued inside with a black leather steering wheel featuring red stitching, black seats with red accents and floor mats with the TRD logo. The tC RS 5.0 is also equipped with a cargo mat. Individually numbered badging completes the uniqueness of this vehicle.

Only 2,000 units of the tC Release Series 5.0 will be built. The tC RS 5.0 model will carry a manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) of $2,300 over the base price of the tC. The base MSRP for the standard tC with a manual transmission is $17,000, while the standard tC with an automatic transmission model carries a MSRP of $17,800. The available black spoiler has a MSRP of $285, not including installation.

The delivery, processing and handling (DPH) fee for all Scion models is $670 and is not included in the MSRP. DPH fee for vehicles distributed by Southeast Toyota (SET) and Gulf States Toyota (GST) may vary.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      I think the car looks pretty fantastic. The only thing that bothers me is that they didn't throw the TRD Supercharger in there. Why bother with all the other performance parts when you're skipping the main one everyone really wants?

        • 6 Years Ago
        It is probably due to emissions and crash testing regulations.

        If they don't offer it for sale with the supercharger, they don't have to re-test all those things, and incurr those costs...

        So as a bolt-on it stays.

        Still would rather see what is up with the Toyota/Subaru boxer-powered coupe... even just a glimpse of the design direction.
      • 6 Years Ago
      i can hardly contain my glee.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Is this what they mean when they say "murdered out"?
      • 6 Years Ago
      I've always found this car to be one of the strangest offerings on the planet.

      The body of a "sporty" car with the performance/handling of a first-gen Prius. But with the added value of terrible gas mileage, cheap build quality, and the mushiest shifter/clutch in automobile history. It's a four-wheeled reminder that Toyota is not interested in making sporty cars anymore...

      Stop trying to market this econobox to kiddies, shove a hybrid engine in it, and get it on a weight loss program. I can't see any other purpose for this box otherwise...
      • 6 Years Ago
      "The tC RS 5.0 is also equipped with a cargo mat."

      That sounds like the press release writer was told to add one more line before sending it out.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Whoever came up with that abbreviation should be fired, and that abbreviation scrapped. It is one vowel away from a very unpleasant connotation word.

      And I'll be interested when Toyota and Subaru bring out their boxer powered rear-driver, or AWD coupe. It can replace this car, if it wants to.

      as a Front-driver, this is pretty benign, but it isn't a performance car, regardless of how the wheels are painted. It is a tarted up (visually, not even in performance.)

      A rear swaybar and a muffler does not a performance car make.

        • 6 Years Ago
        Sorry... meant to complete the sentence...

        visually tarted-up economy car with a coupe shape. barely a shadow of the last generation of Celica GT-S as front-drivers go, and certainly not even close to a turbo MR2 or Supra.
      • 6 Years Ago
      They should have pushed the price up to $3200 and included a TRD supercharger as well. ;)
      • 6 Years Ago
      very nice, subtle and clean (ie no wing/spoiler) love them wheels though, they remind me of m3 wheels, only matte.
      • 6 Years Ago
      All show and just a little go. Don't get me wrong, my ex-girlfriend had a tC and it was a very nice car to drive. Just that I don't cars that "look" faster than they are.

      I would rather have a stock looking tC with the Supercharger.
      • 6 Years Ago
      would someone like to explain the appeal of those cheesy 'time attack' style wheels?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Rob, exactly how much lighter are these 18"s than the smaller wheels that come on the car? If they aren't lighter, how is putting larger radius wheels on an econocar beneficial?

        I believe it would only hurt handling/performance.

        The last thing this Scion needs is "performance" upgrades. Once you're dumping money into an econocar it isn't economical anymore...
        • 6 Years Ago
        thanks for the educated response and the link. i don't think my flippant comment deserved it. it was mainly a gripe about the red lip on those wheels.
        • 6 Years Ago
        You got me on the lip. If it doesn't make it faster I don't need it!
        • 6 Years Ago
        Typically wheels and tires are a first upgrade to reduce unsprung weight, which makes acceleration, deceleration, and suspension compression all faster due to less inertia. Plus the lack of a capable set of tires makes any other suspension upgrades less effective. But it isn't much bang for the buck usually.

      • 6 Years Ago
      The Scion TC has just never appealed to me. It took a while to figure out why, but it's because of the disproportionately dainty tires. Even with the larger diameter wheels, the overall tire diameter is just ridiculously small. That gives the car a slab-sided look, particular on the rear fender. They should have given the car a stance with larger more prominent tires instead of tucking those dainty things under the fender. Hopefully, they'll get the next iteration of the TC correct, but I'm not holding out hope because most of the Toyotas and Lexus have a similar slab-sided look with the tires tucked in.

      • 6 Years Ago
      FINALLY they come out with another good looking RS tC (RS 1.0 anyone?). But at this point, I'm not going to replace my '05 with an '09 that has barely changed. I'm too attached to start over again without some major changes... especially at $19k. Even with the TRD upgrades, that still seems like a lot.

      But this is really what the other Release Series cars should have been... that is, some inkling of a performance upgrade WITH some looks. My local dealer still has 2 RS 4.0s on the lot... because they're lame. Something tells me the 5.0 will not last long.
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