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First Drive: 2011 Scion tC

Aiming low (when it comes to age).

by on Sep.16, 2010

Scion is back with a second-generation 2011 tC.

“Turn it up LOUD,” suggested Jack Hollis, the general manager of Toyota’s youthful Scion brand, as we headed off for our first drive in the new 2011 tC coupe.

The most popular car in the Scion brand, accounting for over 40% of its overall sales, the tC also happens to be the most youthful car on the market, attracting a buyer who is, on average, just 26 years old.  For them, a high-watt sound system is as important as a high-power engine and low 0 to 60 times in judging the appeal of the 2011 Scion tC.

That’s not to say performance doesn’t matter.  Or styling.  And the Toyota division took aim at all these attributes when they developed the second-generation Scion tC coupe, which is just now rolling into U.S. dealer showrooms.

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For those who’ve somehow missed out on Scion, think of it as a brand-within-a-brand, a nameplate aimed at those young – and largely first-time — new car buyers who wouldn’t be caught in the Toyotas their Baby Boomer parents have been driving.  Scion has made an intriguing business case for itself by rolling out a procession of small, hip and affordable products that it markets in very millennial fashion.  Skip the TV and print ads, for the most part, and focus on social marketing, with events like the one in Los Angeles, recently, that drew more than 10,000 Scion owners and their friends.