NY Auto Show preview: Scion’s tC coupe gets a needed refresh for 2014

2013 Scion tCThe FR-S might be Scion’s poster child, but Toyota’s youth division has another coupe that needs some love. The tC will get a face-lift for the upcoming model year, and Scion will show it off at the New York Auto Show next week.

No drastic changes are expected, just a few styling tweaks to keep the car fresh and perhaps a few new options. The tC isn’t quite ready for a full redesign, the current model (pictured) debuted in New York in 2010 as a 2011 model, but it feels like it could use some serious freshening up.

Like the other second-generation Scion models, the xB and xD, the tC didn’t change dramatically when it became a sophomore. It still looks like a mid-cycle refresh of the first-generation car, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it’s hardly a new look for a new generation.

That was Scion’s goal when it debuted in 2003. The launch of a new car brand is always a major event, and the fact that stodgy Toyota was going after young buyers added to the novelty.

Riding that wave of novelty were the xA and first-generation xB. Their small size and the xB’s boxy styling set them apart, and a host of dealer-installed accessories made it seem like Toyota was on the same wavelength as the Fast & Furious crowd.

However, current Scions, FR-S and iQ aside, resemble most other compact cars in size and specification. The front-wheel drive tC comes with a 2.5-liter inline four, which produces 180 horsepower and 173 pound-feet of torque.

The tC was never meant to be an all-out performance car, which is probably something Scion salespeople stress every time a customer walks into a dealer and sees one parked next to an FR-S. Coupes that aren’t sports cars are a rare breed for a reason.

With a $19,480 base price, the current tC is an affordable option for people who want a relatively stylish car and don’t need four doors. That’s not very exciting though.

Not exciting seems to be a good marketing strategy. Last year, the tC was Scion’s bestselling model, so the 2014 model should at least keep up the momentum.

So the 2014 Scion tC might not be revolutionary, but it should at least make Toyota some money. Now, can we have an FR-S turbo please?

Cars

Driving a prototype 2020 Passat at Volkswagen’s Arizona Proving Ground

Volkswagen’s Arizona Proving Ground is where new cars are tested to the breaking point, including the 2020 Passat midsize sedan. Ride along as the new Passat completes testing ahead of its 2019 launch.
Product Review

Boring takes a back seat as 2019 Corolla Hatchback mixes fun with practicality

We drive the 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback, the latest hatchback to bear the Corolla name. As the best-selling nameplate in automotive history, Toyota has high expectations to meet. This model mostly lives up to the legacy.
Cars

2020 Toyota Supra caught hiding in a trailer without a shred of camouflage

Toyota's plan to once again lure enthusiasts into showrooms involves bringing back the Supra, one of its most emblematic nameplates. Here's what we know so far about the upcoming coupe, which Toyota is developing jointly with BMW.
Cars

2019 Ford Ranger saves fuel without sacrificing towing capacity

The 2019 Ford Ranger marks Ford's long-awaited return to the midsize truck segment, which has seen a resurgence lately. But will being late to the party make Ford's job more difficult?
Cars

These winter-warrior cars will never leave you out in the cold

Snow can be an absolute pain if your vehicle isn't optimized to handle that sort of terrain. If brutal snowstorms are an annual part of your life, we recommend you pick up one of these winter-ready vehicles.
Cars

NYC mandates minimum wage for Uber, Lyft, other app-based rideshare drivers

New York City's Taxi and Limousine Commission approved a rule that drivers for companies such as Uber and Lyft must be paid at least minimum wage, even though they are independent contractors. The new pay rate includes operating costs.
Mobile

McLaren puts the pedal to the metal in special-edition OnePlus 6T

The OnePlus 6T is yet another flagship killer smartphone, bringing powerful specifications to a much lower price than the competition. Now, OnePlus has teamed up with McLaren for the OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition.
Cars

LM Industries’ autonomous shuttles head to Phoenix, Sacramento campuses

LM Industries will deploy Olli low-speed autonomous shuttles at school campuses in Arizona and California as part of its ongoing "fleet challenge," which asks local groups to propose uses for autonomous vehicles.
Cars

Bosch’s CES-bound shuttle concept takes us on a trip to a not-too-distant future

Bosch envisions a future in which driverless shuttles occupy their own market segment. The German firm won't build the shuttles, but it wants to provide everything else, ranging from the drive system to the apps used to hail them.
Emerging Tech

A lidar-equipped truck knows exactly how much de-icer to apply on roads

Lidar is best known as the laser-based technology that helps self-driving cars sense their surroundings. But the city of Knoxville has another, more seasonal use for it: De-icing roads.
Cars

Hertz speeds up car rentals with biometric scan technology

Biometric security technology that uses face, fingerprint, and voice recognition is gaining traction, with Hertz emerging as the latest company to incorporate it into its daily operations.
Product Review

Inside Maserati's Levante SUV beats the heart of a Ferrari

Maserati’s luxury SUV gets a shot in the arm by way of Ferrari-derived V8 power, but is it enough to go toe-to-toe with the established players in the high performance sport-utility segment? Let’s find out.
Cars

Aston Martin’s 1,000-hp Valkyrie will boast the Mona Lisa of the engine world

Aston Martin has released new details about its F1-inspired Valkyrie hypercar. Co-developed with Red Bull Racing, the Valkyrie will be one of the most aerodynamic production cars ever made.
Cars

The redesigned 2020 Passat shows Volkswagen still believes in sedans

The sedan segment in America is shrinking, but Volkswagen still believes in it. The German firm has released a teaser sketch to preview the redesigned 2020 Passat it will introduce during the 2019 Detroit Auto Show.