With all of the coverage of the new 2013 FR-S, you might be forgiven for thinking that Scion only makes one sports coupe. Not so fast: the venerable tC is still alive, and Scion is celebrating the model's eighth year in production by creating the Release Series 8.0 coupe.
Scion's Release Series special editions have been around for about as long as the tC. To date, there have been seven limited edition RS models, numbered 1.0 through 7.0, produced since 2005. The last Release Series, number 7.0, was only available in a color called high voltage yellow, and Scion only made 2200 examples.
For this year, the tC has to still impress buyers now that the infamous FR-S has reached dealers, so Scion handed much of the new model's design to Toyota Racing Development and design house Five Axis. The result is a 2000-unit special edition dubbed the Release Series 8.0.
The car starts with a bright red paintjob called Absolutely Red. Five Axis added a full body kit, with specially badged side skirts, a black rear diffuser with center-exit exhaust, and a new front splitter with a more aggressive look. Five Axis also created a red-and-black rear spoiler with a special RS8.0 badge on it. To make the center-exit exhaust pipe a little bit more entertaining, Scion worked with Toyota Racing Development to build a sport muffler with a louder sound. The car gets a lower stance thanks to the installation of TRD lowering springs, and the whole car rides atop 18-inch gloss-black alloy wheels.
On the inside, Scion stitched the Release Series 8.0 tC's interior with thread that specially matches the exterior paint job, and that thread goes both on the cloth sport seats and the leather-wrapped steering wheel. Automatic-transmission models get standard steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters.
The RS 8.0 continues with the same 2.5-liter inline-four-cylinder engine as before, which sends 180 hp and 173 lb-ft to the front wheels through either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. All of this will cost you $22,545 with a manual or $23,595 with an automatic, including destination. The 2000 models will make their way to dealers next month.