Scion Releasing Limited Edition Models for 10th Anniversary
I can’t believe it’s been 10 years since Toyota launched the Scion brand in the US. The xA and its far more successful big brother, the xB wagon, were the first models for the young brand when they went on sale in 2003, with the tC “sport coupe” available one year later. The brand was created to appeal to young buyers who wanted something a little flashier and unique than anything in Toyota’s extraordinarily conservative lineup. The xA and xB were powered by the same 103hp 1.5L 4-cylinder, but served vastly different customers. With its distinctive looks that matched nothing else on the market and greater versatility than the xA, the xB was the breakout star that found acceptance across all age groups, even though Scion’s marketing efforts were primarily targeting young buyers. The spiritual successor to the defunct Celica, the tC rounded out Scion’s offerings, and quickly became the most popular car in the stable. With a full size, double paned sunroof and 160hp engine, the tC was seriously good value for the money, with the standard car clocking in somewhere around $17K.
The xA (now xD) and xB were refreshed in 2007 to mixed results. They both received a much needed power boost, but the xB grew larger and with rounded corners, casting aside much of the uniqueness original buyers found so enthralling. A tC refresh in 2011 also rounded off the car’s edges and made it slightly more vanilla, especially when compared to the Toyota FT-86 concept car that was floating around at the same time. That car would eventually come to the US market as the Scion FR-S, easily Scion’s most driver-oriented model, and its best selling car of this year so far. The diminutive iQ city car continues to be hang in there despite slow sales.
To commemorate Scion’s 10th anniversary, 10,000 select Scion cars will receive the Series 10 treatment, an appearance package that includes silver seatbelts, a solar-powered illuminated shifter, Silver Ignition paint scheme, and interior number plate designating the production number. The tC and FR-S get extra goodies, too. The tC, which will be refreshed for the 2014 model year, will receive all the new upgrades from the new car (including the reworked exterior and standard touchscreen audio system) in addition to having the largest number of Series 10 cars produced by quantity. The FR-S gets HID headlamps, dual automatic climate control, and, annoyingly, push-button start.