Auto blogMon, 01 Apr 2013 09:29:00 EST
As the story goes, Toyota's Scion brand was imagined up in someone's basement and then came to fruition in 2003 as a youth-oriented brand with a focus on delivering unique vehicles with an equally unique retail experience. A decade later, the brand has grown to five models, which will each be commemorated starting in June with a new Scion 10 Series edition.
In varying quantities, Scion will be offering the FR-S, tC, iQ, xB and xD with an exclusive package that will all come in the Silver Ignition exterior color. Aside from the paint, these cars will also receive Scion badges on the front and rear that are backlit with blue LEDs that illuminate when the car is unlocked. Silver seat belts and a solar-powered illuminated shift knob will help distinguish the interiors of these cars, but the iQ, xB and xD will stand out further from the outside with darker alloy wheels.
In total, just 10,000 Scion 10 Series models are planned, and each will be identifiable with a sequentially numbered badge inside the car. The redesigned 2014 tC will get the most of the special-edition models with 3,500 units, while other new models like the FR-S and iQ will be restricted to just 2,500 units and 900 units, respectively. The original Scion, the xB, will get 2,100 Scion 10 Series models, and the xD will round out the 10,000-unit run with 1,000 models being produced. Scroll down for the official press release.
Cashing in on some of the excitement surrounding the FR-S, Scion has given its front-wheel drive coupe a refreshed look at the New York Auto Show. When the 2014 Scion tC shows up at dealers this June, the entry-level coupe with have an improved exterior styling to give the car a sportier appearance while also adding some new cabin tech and an updated six-speed automatic transmission.
The new face of the tC includes an oversized lower grille very similar to the FR-S, but reshaped headlights, hood and vertical lower accent lights also creates a more dynamic look for this budget-priced coupe. At the rear of the car, clear-lensed taillights and a blacked-out lower diffuser finishes the major styling changes. Inside, a new touchscreen audio system also includes Bluetooth connectivity, and the optional Scion BeSpoke Premium Audio includes navigation and Aha Internet radio app.
Building on the tC's sportier image, the automatic transmission adds a little extra excitement as well with a new manual shift mode and a rev-matching, throttle-blipping feature. For better driving dynamics, Scion also promises a more rigid body structure and enhanced suspension components. Scroll down to read all about the 2014 tC in the official press release.
Toyota has given us a look at what the company will bring to the 2013 New York Auto Show. Visitors will get to set their eyes upon the all-new 2014 Highlander, and while the automaker isn't saying much in the way of details, we do get the teaser you see above (click to enlarge) to ponder on until next week. The image shows little more than a headlamp and a bit of grille, but gives us the flavor of what the crossover will bring to the table.
Scion, meanwhile, says it plans to dust off the "new 2014 tC sports coupe." While we don't imagine the two door will have undergone a major surgery, we're interested to see what the automaker has cooked up. The tC last endured a redesign in 2011. Check out the brief press release below and look for the vehicles to bow on March 28.Y
According to the Toyota UK blog, engineers for the automaker were so excited developing the GT86 coupe that they investigated producing a whole family of models based on the rear-wheel drive sports car. And at least one engineer - product chief Tetsuya Tada - still hopes it can happen, even if not everyone at Toyota is onboard. Tada: "Actually we tried to do this secretly but the executives found us out. They said: 'What are you doing? Will you please focus on the coupe.'"
Those mooted variants included both a four-door sedan and a shooting brake. Why? Aside from the pure excellence of a lightweight, brilliantly handling hatchback, Toyota was keenly aware of the fact that it may need to spread the cost of development out across several models. Tada says that's part of the reason why it was so easy to create the convertible. The company knew from the outset that a softtop version was in the cards, and built the machine's structure to accommodate having the roof sliced off.
Tada also made mention of the already-announced collaboration between Toyota and BMW. The engineer said that the GT86 was particularly helpful because it demonstrated just how successful a product conceived and designed by two different companies can be. While he didn't say exactly what Toyota and BMW are up to, it's clear the two are looking into a number of possibilities. It's an interesting read with a lot of
Thu, 07 Mar 2013 15:29:00 EST
Judges for the World Car of the Year Award have narrowed down the finalists to just four vehicles. Out of a total of 42 entries, only the Mercedes-Benz A-Class, Porsche Boxster/Cayman, Scion FR-S/Subaru BRZ/Toyota GT-86 and Volkswagen Golf remain standing. For Volkswagen, this marks the second consecutive year the company has had an entry among the finalists, and the fourth time since 2009. In order to qualify, a vehicle must be on sale on two continents during the span of time between January 1, 2013 and May 30, 2013. A panel of 66 journalists from 23 countries then vote on the finalists.
Three vehicles have made the cut for the last round of voting on the 2013 World Performance Car as well, with the Cayman/Boxster and FR-S/BRZ/GT-86 running against the Ferrari F12 Berlinetta. Meanwhile, the Renault Zoe, Tesla Model S and Volvo V60 Plug-In Hybrid are duking it out for the World Green Car Award. Finally, the World Car Design of the Year Award is up for grabs between the Aston Martin Vanquish, Jaguar F-Type, and the Mazda6. Check out the full press release below. Overall winners will be presented at the 2013 New York Auto Show.
Toyota has been hosting its Pro/Celebrity race at the Toyota Grand Prix on Long Beach since 1977. The charity event, which has raised millions of dollars over the years, traditionally pits Hollywood celebrities against professional athletes (including race car drivers) on the full Grand Prix course in modified street vehicles. The short, sprint-style race is popular with the crowds as the amateur drivers race uninhibited - the result is an action-packed race with plenty of excitement and automotive... er... carnage.
Over the decades, the drivers have raced a variety of Toyota products including last year's front-wheel-drive Scion tC. But this year, Toyota announced at the Chicago Auto Show that the new rear-wheel-drive Scion FR-S would be stepping up to the plate. The good news only became better when Toyota Motorsports invited us out to Southern California's Willow Springs Raceway (the same circuit where the drivers train and practice) to be one of the first behind the wheel.
There's nothing wrong with going topless. And Toyota is proving that its FT-86 (read: Scion FR-S/Toyota GT86/Subaru BRZ) coupe is just as excellent with its roof removed. It may only be a concept, but this FT-86 Open previews a new droptop from the Japanese automaker to round out the Toyobaru sports car family. We're finally getting the chance to see the open-air FT-86 in person here at the Geneva Motor Show, and we're already yearning to take it canyon-carving.
Interestingly, the FT-86 retains the Toyota coupe's two-plus-two seating arrangement (we'd prefer a proper roadster setup here), but things still look good for this droptop two-door. We'll be curious to see how the car looks with its folding soft top in place (operated by fancy-shmancy electronics, by the way).
As for production intent, rumors have been flying about a production Scion FR-S convertible, but until we hear it directly from Toyota. Consider our hopes in check but our fingers crossed.
Here it is, folks - the highly anticipated Toyota FT-86 Open concept, a precursor to what could become a road-going Scion FR-S convertible. A full smattering of images and video have leaked onto the internet, and thanks to the folks at FT86Club.com, we can now see the new hotness that Toyota will be unveiling at the Geneva Motor Show next week.
These images confirm details that were first seen in spy shots captured a couple of weeks ago - namely, the larger wheel/tire package and the inclusion of the Toyobaru coupe's decidedly useless rear seats. These new photos, however, show a two-tone leather interior with goodies such as an iPod/iPhone mount on the dashboard. The concept car is also fitted with the coupe's six-speed automatic transmission (boo!) and FT86Club.com reports that the folding soft top is operated electronically.
We'll have the full details live from Geneva in just a few days. For now, click through our attached image gallery to see lots of pretty pictures of the topless wonder, and scroll down for a video to see the concept in motion.
The U.S. News Best Cars for the Money Awards picks winners by looking at the average transaction price, five-year total cost of ownership, the regard a car has from the automotive press, reliability figures from J.D. Power and Associates and safety data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The result, according to the magazine, is "the best combination of critical acclaim and long-term value."
Ford nabbed six of the 21 categories that received awards this year, the Focus, Fusion, Fusion Hybrid, Taurus, Escape and Edge getting trophies. Toyota and its Lexus and Scion sub-brands took another five, the Tacoma and Tundra owning the two categories given to pickup trucks. The other ten awards were split between Honda with three, Buick with two, and one each for Subaru, BMW, Hyundai, Chevrolet and Mazda.
Follow the link to see all the winners and read about why they were chosen.
Though the eventual existence of a convertible version of the Toyota GT86 (and its Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ versions for America) is a no-brainer, we've yet to get a glimpse of the real-deal car until now.
Spotted in Cape Town, South Africa, of all places, this completely undisguised GT86 convertible seems to be in a remarkably advanced state of development. The image seen here was obviously sniped from quite a distance and without the aid of a powerful lens, but we can still make out a production-ready looking piece of rear bodywork for the convertible top to hide away in, as well as a functioning trunk lid. It's hard to make out with any certainty, based on this evidence, but there does seem to be space retained behind the front seats for two, small rear chairs.
With the first car spotted, we'd expect to seem some more and better images of it flow through in the near future, and if not, Toyota has already confirmed a concept version for next month's Geneva Motor Show, dubbed FT-86 Open, so stay tuned. For now, click through to the FT86Club.com forum to have a slightly closer look at the images.