We got our hands on the special limited edition Scion tC for a week around Los Angeles and I loved every minute of it. The car only has 2,000 units being produced in the Release Series and have numbered plaques just above the radio. The car we were in was plaque number 1,787 out of 2,000. Now I owned one of the first Scion tC’s when they were first released in the southeast Toyota region. I loved the car but ended up only having it for six months total. So this week was kind of an anniversary with the tC and myself.
One of my favorite things about this car is it falls under the $20,000 mark even with it being fully loaded with TRD parts. Ken Gushi’s Formula D prepped Scion tC actually shares some of the same parts with this Release Series car on a cool note as well. While this car obviously isn’t rear wheel drive I have a reason why you want it. While you have your S13, FC Mazda, or AE86 as your project car that will never run this is a perfect second machine.
A cheap car note, Toyota reliability, and a gorgeous performance oriented FF drive machine should be enough reasons for you to consider this car. The most noted exterior change on the Scion tC is it’s lower stance from TRD lowering springs that drops the car around 1 .5 inches.
The tire/brake combination is modified for the Release Series as well which really made the ride much better. The car has 18×7.5 wheels all around in matte black with a red stripe on them giving the factory tC a unique look. The TRD brakes are buried behind it that look great with red calipers.
With the larger wheels, lowering springs, and TRD rear sway bar I was concerned that the performance parts would compromise the ride quality in Los Angeles but it didn’t come close. In fact, one night I decided to take a cruise down Sunset Blvd. and wound up hitting the Pacific Coast Highway and kept driving up it for quite some time while just carried away with driving it.
From the rear you will notice the TRD sport muffler and rear swap bar are the two big differences in the back of the car. The exhaust gives this gorgeous humming tune which really sounds perfect at mid range rev’s but is quiet enough to not interrupt your cell phone conversations.
Taking the car up and down Mount Wilson right before it was returned really left me smiling from ear to ear while driving the Release Series Scion. In the corners you can really feel a great upgrade in this model of the tC compared to your factory concept. The suspension is just so tuned and to think the full Release Series comes with all of this TRD stuff for only $2,300 over base is a nice price. I am not thrilled about the car only coming in black since it’s not my favorite color of the tC but I could let it go due to the complimentary wheel/brake setup.
The interior has a basic seat change to a red/black setup and it comes with a leather wrapped steering wheel to finish off it’s package. I don’t know if you will find a brand new sub $20,000 car with that much performance and balance packed into it but you can sure go out there and look on your own, I just wish you luck.
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