• Mar 30, 2010
We have always thought that the Scion tC was a pretty tidy looking little hatchback, but as it's been on sale since 2004, well, it's gotten a bit tired, even though there are very few inexpensive front-drive sport-ish coupes to choose from these days. With that in mind, we've been looking forward to the introduction of the long-awaited 2011 model, expecting a fairly radical step forward. Judging by this new spy shot from an anonymous tipster, perhaps we ought to temper our expectations a bit.

While the single snapshot in question is blurry and blown out, it does show what appears to be a new lower fascia, grille, wheels, and side mirrors. The headlamps are too washed out under the showstand's high-power lights to tell if they've been altered (it appears that the photo was taken during a presentation rehearsal ahead tomorrow's New York Auto Show reveal), but it's reasonable to assume that the tC will receive new lights both front and rear, as they're a hallmark of almost any vehicle refresh.

As for what lies underneath the reskin, we're not yet sure, as the only thing to have slipped out about the new model that appears credible are a few official-looking detail shots that reveal items like a new manual shift mode for the automatic transmission and revamped HVAC controls.

We'll have more on the 2011 tC after Scion's press conference tomorrow, but in the meantime, you can play a game of "spot the differences" from the outgoing car by checking out our high-res gallery of Scion's latest special edition model below.

*UPDATE:
Our man with the spy cam has offered up the following details about the 2011 tC:
  • 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine (2010 model has a 2.4-liter)
  • Six-speed manual or automatic gearbox with sequential shifter
  • 18-inch wheels standard (with wider tires)
  • Traction and stability control (defeatable)
  • Wider track for improved stance
  • Flat-bottom steering wheel "one of the best feeling out there (comparable to the one used in the GTI), very thick"
  • Improved seats with "good bolsters and shoulder height bolsters, too"
  • Improved rear headroom (but panoramic moonroof stays)
  • Overall, a "very nice feeling interior (for the price point and even above)"
  • Eight-speaker stereo standard
  • Single outlet exhaust ("would like nice with a dual back there")
We'll see if our inside man is right on the money tomorrow.



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 33 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      I've always thought the tC was a decent, if a bit bland, coupe. Although even today, the standard features are still pretty impressive (panoramic roof, power rear seat, etc).
      • 4 Years Ago
      new bumper and grill. looks "better" but not by much. still pretty boring for such an old ass car.
        • 4 Years Ago
        old ass? The Civic is taking just as long, if not longer to redesign, and the Corolla took longer as well!
      • 4 Years Ago
      I like it ! Not much of a improvement over the current model but it look good none the less. Its a nice coupe. One can only dream about toyotas 3.5 in this...sigh

      I dont see the need for some people to give such negative commmets. Its a nice car and i see them alot.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Looks like the back window is more sharper and angled than the previous model. Could just be the lighting though.
      • 4 Years Ago
      C pillar looks really like FT-86 concept. Are they sharing design?
        • 4 Years Ago
        sorry for double comment, but it wasn't me who did that.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Yawn. Scion offers pure PUNK JUNK. Worthless products without any particular strength. Uninspiring design that borders on bland. Of course the rest of the Scion lineup is simply awful - awkward interiors. I'm convinced people buy Scions because they haven't a clue what to buy and they think buying a Toyota with a different name makes it cooler. Unfortunately it makes the owner look just plain stupid.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I'm convinced you have absolutely no idea what you're talking about. Unfortunately it makes you look just plain stupid.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Laser, you have NO clue! AND you offer no argument to stand on. Offers nothing? If you consider setting the standard in standard features in the current market, today, and still offering the best bang for your buck value nothing, then you're right. Awkward interior? How so? Helooooo Cube or Element anyone ?! At least we don't put the gas tank under the driver's seat, like a certain Manufacturer's car, to make room for "magic" seats.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The thing that pisses me off most about the tC, and is the reason I will never consider one, is the gigantic glass roof. It's hideous, heavy, squeaky, and takes up head-room. Give the tC a real roof to go with these other improved aspects, and I'll certainly be happy to take a serious look at it.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Nick,

        The roof is hideous? are you serious? The same kind of roof that is becoming more and more prevalent in today's market? Wow, I've seriously never heard that before. But you are entitled to your opinion.
        The roof doesn't eat away on headroom. Traditionally that would be true in models that offered a moonroof as an option. But this is a standard feature. Also, another reason is that the roof opens up and outward. It doesn't slide into the headliner, as with most cars, that is the reason why those cars lose headroom.
        Now I have a 2005 Scion tC that I bought in Sept 2004. My roof doesn't squeak. But I can understand what some people may compain about, regarding "roof chatter." However the new tC's roof has edge guards that is going to absorb impact and limit "chattering." And you can't see them, unless you get really upclose. They're done very stealthilly. Out of curiousity, have you driven one, personally?
      • 4 Years Ago
      There's a video revealing the new headlight and tails, as well as mention of 2.5l upgrade and 6speed transmission.

      http://clubsciontc.com/news/toyota-scion-5/key-elements-of-the-2011-scion-tc-52/
        • 4 Years Ago
        It's apparently powered by a '4 cylinder sweet engine' :p
        • 4 Years Ago
        "I did leave out a couple of little pieces of information that are going to make some big headlines"

        Those details had better include direct injection, turbo and RWD or AWD - I can't imagine what else would make "big headlines" regarding a tC.
        • 4 Years Ago
        It's got more empeegees! OMG! I freaking HATE that stupid terminology. It's like dumbing things down for stupid people. "More empeegees good!" What the hell is so hard to understand about "fuel economy"? Ford's doing that too and it really irritates me.
        • 4 Years Ago
        you shouldn't have told us about this :)
      • 4 Years Ago
      Scion is the new "old Saturn". They can't grow the brand or it will eat into the mothership.

      Do we put money in it or not?
      It's a youth brand, keep em small and cheap.
      But they are not selling and it is time for a refresh...
      What direction do we take the brand?
      Toyota gets the FT, but maybe it should be a Scion?
      Kids can't afford the FT... give them a rehash on the tC, they won't know the difference - keep it cheap.

      It must be very expensive to keep a "kids" brand fresh, young, and attractive.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Toyota is going to add more models to Scion as the Toyota nameplate is tarnished !!! Ah Snaps !!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Many readers posted negative remarks concerning the tC prematurely.
      Why not wait until the official "unveiling" before offering comments?
      Too many naysayers with many words saying little, which is common here in AB...especially if the machine is Asian, and Japanese in particular.
      How tired that is.

      Peace!
        • 4 Years Ago
        "Many readers posted negative remarks concerning the tC prematurely.
        Why not wait until the official "unveiling" before offering comments?
        Too many naysayers with many words saying little, which is common here in AB...especially if the machine is Asian, and Japanese in particular.
        How tired that is.

        Peace!"

        Well said!!!
      • 4 Years Ago
      MEH. Still, "fast and furious" wannabees will go nuts over this, immediately replacing the stock exhaust with one that makes it sound like a dump truck.
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