A tasteful but effective mid-cycle revamp brings new appeal to the 2014 Scion tC, matching a more contemporary appearance with functional upgrades destined to make it more fun to drive.

The cosmetic recasting of both fascias borrows several cues from the hot Scion FR-S to add edge to the look. Up front, that comes from a bolder grille and new sculpted hood that are flanked by more aggressively styled headlamps and LED accent lighting. The rear benefits from a similar FR-S influenced remake, gaining a blackout lower valence element and new LED taillamps. Rounding out the tC's exterior changes are new 18-inch alloy wheels -- finished in dark gray with machined-spoke surfaces -- wrapped in 225/45 tires.

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The remake carries over into the cabin of the new tC, which is now swathed in upgraded fabrics and adds an auto up/down driver's window feature. It also will be the first Scion to come with the new Scion Standard Display Audio sound system that will be fitted to all 2014 Scion models. This new package features a 6.1-inch LCD touchscreen and also includes Bluetooth, HD Radio and the convenience of steering-wheel mounted controls. Those seeking a more sophisticated sonic alternative -- or merely looking to find their way around in a strange town -- can step up to a new Scion BeSpoke Premium Audio system that includes a full navigation package and the ability to connect with 30,000 free radio stations via a compatible smartphone, plus access to Yelp, Trip Advisor and the top social media apps.

As for boosting its dynamic profile, the 2014 Scion tC benefits from a number of chassis tweaks that include revised shock calibration, new stabilizer bar fitments and remapped power steering that now offers better feel. To further optimize those revamps, a number of new strategically placed spot welds have added more rigidity to the unit body structure.

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While the tC's existing 179-horsepower/2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine carries over for 2014, the optional 6-speed automatic transmission has been reprogrammed to reduce gear-change times by nearly half. It also gains new Dynamic Rev Management technology. Another feature culled from the FR-S, this automatic throttle-blip function seamlessly matches engine revs to the gear selected to reduce driveline shock.

The 2014 Scion tC will hit dealerships in June, and pricing will be announced closer to the on-sale date. This year also marks the 10th anniversary of the Scion brand, and to commemorate that fact the automaker will create a limited edition of each model in the lineup. These "Scion 10 Series" cars will all be painted Silver Ignition and have a number of unique features including custom alloy wheels, silver seatbelts and sequentially numbered interior badges.


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