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Few could fathom voluntarily living out of our cars, but that’s exactly what one Los Angeles college student did.
Each year, the city of Long Beach, California gets transformed into a motorsports-themed environment to make way for the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. To kick off the festivities annually is the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race and this year’s lineup of drivers has just been announced.
The celebrities that will be piloting Scion tCs through the streets of downtown Long Beach this year include Jillian Barberie Reynolds, Adrien Brody, Adam Carolla, Kate del Castillo, Eddie Cibrian, Kim Coates, Eileen Davidson, Hill Harper, Brody Jenner, Scott Porter, Bill Rancic, former UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez, and host of Top Gear USA Rutledge Wood. The mix of actors, actresses, tv personalities, and more will race through the 10-lap, 1.97-mile street circuit on April 14th.
This year’s pros will include Scion drifter, Fredric Aasbø, former USAC National Midget champion and 2012 driver of Toyota-powered USAC teams, Bryan Clauson, and Grammy award-winning record producer and owner of Rebel Rock Racing, Jim Jonsin. Lastly, joining the field are charity auction winners Doug Fregin (co-founder of Research in Motion) and nightclub owner Jerry Westlund. Each year, Toyota also dedicates a spot for a Southern California Toyota dealer employee and this year that will be Biff Gordon, general manager of Quality Toyota in Corona.
Each participant will have $5,000 donated to Racing for Kids on behalf of Toyota and another $5,000 will go to the winning racer’s charity of choice. A $15,000 donation will also be made in conjunction with the 15th-annual “People Pole Award” sponsored by People magazine.
With the Scion FR-S destined to arrive on North American soil rather soon, it’ no surprise that the sub-brand for Japanese automaker, Toyota, decided to give its website a new identity. It appears that Scion hopes to give itself a more of a “grown up” image too with the FR-S’s arrival, which will undoubtedly be the first real sports car for the young brand.
Up until now, Scion is most well-known for its quirky models that appeal to the young automotive enthusiast interesting in customizing their vehicle to match their personality. And while the tC was an attempt at making a sporty coupe, most would agree that it doesn’t have – or even come close to – the appeal that the FR-S brings. We already have no doubts that the FR-S as a car is a hit (read our review here), but it’ll be interesting to see if buyers can get over the “Scion hump” of knowing that it doesn’t boast a Toyota badge, but rather a badge that’s been heavily associated to a younger generation of car enthusiasts.
Either way, the new website is clearly an indication that Scion wants to trend away slowly from the reputation it has established over the years. Rather than a dark-themed and Flashy website, it now incorporates a friendly-on-the-eyes design with everything just a couple of clicks away. In other words, it’s function over form, much like the FR-S. It looks great, and it performs great.
At the 2012 Montreal International Auto Show, Scion brought a trio of Release Series vehicles out to display for the Canadian market. This is the first time Scion’s Release Series vehicles have ever been to a Canadian auto show.
Starting with the xB Release Series 9.0, the limited edition xB will only see 200 units in Canada with its Hot Lava exterior paint, Scion honeycomb grill, illuminated vehicle locator badges, suede-style trimmed seats, color-matched stitching, embossed seat logos and RS individually-numbered badges.
A huge contrast to the flashy and bright xB is the Blizzard Pearl xD Release Series 4.0. The frosty xD has a unique blizzard pearl finish, packs 16-inch smoked platinum wheels on each corner while the interior also gets some Pearl white matched pieces and seat surfaces. Only 100 of these will be made available in Canada with each one individually numbered and featuring RS 4.0 all-season floor mats.
Last but not least, the High Voltage Yellow tC Release Series 7.0 – that’s been made famous by the commercials – will be limited to just 175 cars in Canada. The bright yellow tC is further accented by a TRD body kit and 18-inch gloss black wheels. On the inside, there’s plenty of yellow contrast stitching and the tC features a Smart Key with push button start. And of course, there’s an RS individually-numbered illuminated badge for the vehicle.
The Release Series xB begins at $20,950, the xD 4.0 starts at $18,460 while the retina-burning tC Release Series 7.0 is $23,425.
GALLERY: Scion Release Series Vehicles
GReddy has always been a huge supporter of Scion and its vehicles, producing a turbo kit for the original tC when it first hit the market. In fact, their tC was one of the cleanest ones ever built, so it’s no surprise that they’re already all over the new generation 2011 Scion tC, R&D’ing new parts including an exhaust system and turbo kit.
While snooping around GReddy’s Plixi account, we spotted several photos of a 2011 Scion tC already under the knife. From what we can gather, they just picked up the car about a week ago and have already mocked up a new exhaust system for their SEMA project. It looks now they are now working hard on getting a turbo kit ready to go to show off to the rest of the industry come SEMA.
GReddy is well known for producing very streetable turbo kits that do not hamper the reliability and daily-driving ability of cars. We fully expect another high quality product from their factory once they get everything sorted out and ready to go. It should be a nice improvement to the factory 2.5L-liter inline-four, and knowing GReddy they’ll aim for around 250-hp nice and safely.
And with HKS’s Scion SEMA car confirmed, there’s little doubt that we’ll see a few other 2011 tCs all tricked out.
Be sure to catch AutoGuide’s 2010 SEMA coverage starting November 2nd.
[Source: GReddy's Plixi]
GALLERY: GReddy 2011 Scion tC
Not to be outdone by the folks at Nissan, Scion has released its own augmented reality experience on the Web to promote the all new 2011 Scion tC. And just to one-up their competition, Scion’s application utilizes Flash and works straight on the website instead of having to download an application. Plus, it’s an interactive game rather than just showing off the features of the car.
Basically the application consists of a steering wheel that you are able to point towards your webcam and steer in order to control the virtual tC. The goal is to avoid all the obstacles in your way in order to achieve the fastest time through the city. And if you don’t have a webcam, you could play it in keyboard mode, though it’s not very exciting that way.
Our only major complaint is that the game doesn’t really show off the tC – although it should help generate some buzz. And besides, the rest of the website does its job of of highlighting the car.
So head on over to the website to Take On The Machine.
Rather than offer an entire TRD branded vehicle, those interested in performance parts for their 2011 Scion tC will have to pick and choose from Scion’s catalog in order to customize their brand new Scion tC. This clarification comes after a report that Scion would deliver an official TRD tC.
The full parts catalog hasn’t been released yet, but it looks like Scion will basically brand the new tC options with TRD options available. Initial offerings will include lowering springs and a pair of sway bars (front and rear) for suspension components, while performance can be mildly enhanced with an intake and exhaust system in addition to a short shifter. TRD will also offer a front brake upgrade with cross drilled rotors to complement optional 19-inch wheels and tires.
We will be more interested if TRD does another trip down the supercharger lane with the new 2011 Scion tC, as it was a fairly popular option for those hungry for reliable horsepower on the previous generation tC.
As a brand, Scion has marketed its cars to a younger demographic that is interested in modifying/personalizing their vehicles. And with a new, second-generation tC model due out for 2011, it will be interesting to see if tuners continue to be drawn to Scions.
In a definite sign of interest Gurnade (which specializes in high-quality car renders for builders within the sport compact market) has teamed up with Tjin Edition for this Scion tC render.
The bright yellow paint is probably the first thing you’ll notice in this customized tC, but if not, then it’s probably the widebody fenders or chopped roof. The gigantic DPE wheels look a little overwhelming, but is a good fit to the wider tC. A more aggressive front bumper and side skirts naturally go with the package along with the Status Racing seats, Air Lift suspension and custom cage.
For those that have never seen Tjin Edition’s previous Scion tC, it follows a similar idea minus the chopped roof and bright yellow paint. Originally red, Tjin Edition’s widebody tC turned bright blue and was campaigned all across the nation for several years.
Gurnade says that this Scion tC project isn’t planed for SEMA (although we’re still tempted to think it is). The design house will, however, have several other models to show off and AutoGuide will be sure to bring you extensive coverage of the world’s largest aftermarket expo in November.
Plus, say tuned for our review of the all-new 2011 Scion tC in just a few days.
Official press release after the break.
Titan Motorsports has long been paving the way in the sport compact drag racing segment, setting records in their Street Tire Supra in the early 2000s, before moving onto the NHRA Sport Compact Pro RWD class with their Toyota Celicas. They then powered their way to 6-second passes on the quarter-mile before Scion jumped on board on contributed to two new chassis. Once the NHRA Sport Compact Drag Racing Series merged with NOPI, and NOPI disappeared, Titan Motorsports looked for a new challenge to please its sponsors and continue drag racing while setting records and raising eyebrows.
In what was an interesting move on their part, Titan Motorsports decided to campaign their Scion tC drag car at the ADRL series which is mostly dominated by American muscle. In fact, they are probably the only import-powered vehicle there at most events. With a Toyota 2JZ Supra Turbo engine with only 186 cubic inches, most ADRL competitors were skeptical that Titan could even come close to competing with the 800+ cubic inch motors that were all forced induced. Needless to say they attracted a lot of attention once they became very competitive in the 10.5-inch tire field.
But a new goal was on the horizon for 2010. After making numerous low 4-second passes in the 1/8th-mile, Titan Motorsports knew they had it in their car to go into the mystical 3-second mark. A 3.999 or faster pass would not only make Titan’s car the fastest sport compact/import in the world but they would also become part of an exclusive Mickey Thompson 3 Second Club. Entering this club rewards the team with a custom ring, custom leather jacket and $3000.00 bounty to the first five members.
At the ADRL Georgia Drags VI, Titan Motorsports finally achieved their goal with a record-setting 3.996 @ 182.45 mph. They have made their way into the coveted Mickey Thompson 3 Second Club as one of the first five cars into the 3′s and guaranteed themselves as the fastest import in the world for many years to come. Watch the record setting pass after the jump!
[Source: Titan Motorsports Blog]
GALLERY: Titan Motorsports 3-second Scion tC
Earlier today we reported that RealTime Racing would be taking their expertise to the new GTS class in World Challenge. So perhaps there’s a changing of the guard with a new manufacturer poised to enter the World Challenge Touring Car class – Scion
Toyota’s youth brand is no strangers to all forms of motorsports, sponsoring and fielding cars in road racing, time attack, drag racing and even drifting. Sure some of these cars aren’t even close to what you get off the lot as a commuter, but Scion has continued strengthened its brand and image by posting fast lap times and setting records. Two cars and three drivers will be campaigned throughout the season with all the world’s attention turned to St. Petersburg, Florida this weekend for the first race of the season.
The Scion tCs are equipped with a plethora of parts from OE Scion, TRD (including their supercharger, intercooler and big brake kit) and Dan Gardner Spec (DG-Spec), performance parts that Gardner has developed over three years of racing Scions. Gardner’s resume of racing includes 2009 championships in NASA PTC and WERC Endurance E1. His partner-in-crime for the No. 36 car will be Tom Lepper, veteran club and Grand-Am driver who took top honors in the US Touring Car Championship series in 2009. The second car, the No. 18 Scion tC, will be piloted by 18-year-old Robert Stout, 2009 NASA PTA National Champion.
Make sure to check out the full press release and a video of testing after the break. And be sure to have your TVs set and ready for the playback of this weekend’s event.
[Source: World Challenge News]
Toyota Canada has announced that it will expand its product offering significantly in Canada with the introduction of the youth-oriented Scion brand in September of 2010. The launch will be targeted at several major markets including Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver. In total 45 dealers will be a part of the expansion.
The Scion dealers will operate as a “store within a store” and will be part of existing Toyota dealerships. There will be 18 Scion dealers in Montreal, 20 in Toronto and 7 in Vancouver.
“This is a great time to launch Scion in Canada,” said Larry Hutchinson, Director of Scion in Canada. “As the auto industry emerges from recession, one of the largest and youngest demographics will be entering the marketplace. Young buyers will be looking to the ever-growing small car market. They are not only looking for a safe, high-quality and fuel efficient vehicle, it is important to them that the vehicle reflects their personality and lifestyle, and the stylish and trendy Scion brand will be there to fulfill that need.”
The launch of Scion in Canada will start with three vehicles, all of which are currently offered in the U.S. (Scion’s only other market). The vehicles include the sporty tC, the funky and functional xB and the sub-compact xD. Scion is also expected to deliver new models in the near future, with one possibility being a version of the Toyota iQ mini car.
For a full list of Canada’s Scion dealers, see after the jump:
Dealerships to open in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver first
Eight years after the Scion brand was launched in the U.S., Toyota’s youth-oriented offshoot will open dealerships in Canada in 2010. With a dealership-within-a-dealership approach, Scions will be available at several Toyota stores in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. Expansion to other urban centers (or “centres” as they say in Canada) is expected but not yet official.
Scion will enter the Canadian marketplace with all three of its vehicles, the tC sport coupe, the xD five-door hatchback and the cube-shaped xB five-door hatchback.
And of course, all Scion models in Canada will be available with numerous accessories and upgrades, from wheels to shift knobs and from stereo systems to TRD (Toyota Racing Development) performance parts.
“Scion is a unique brand, yet still a member of the Toyota family so it benefits from the same high standards as our Toyota and Lexus lines,” said Larry Hutchinson, Director of Toyota Canada Inc., commenting that in the U.S. 70 percent of Scion buyers are new to Toyota, and over fifty percent of Scion owners migrate to a Toyota vehicle as their needs and wants evolve.
For more information on Scion Canada visit: www.scionnation.ca
Official release after the jump: