I have always been skeptical of aftermarket performance parts simply because changing anything from factory spec affects reliability and most often the fit and finish are not up to OEM standards. There are a few notable exceptions that have earned the trust and respect of carmakers – AMG, Shelby, and Mugen are a few names that quickly come to mind. For Toyota performance products, Five Axis Design (Five:AD), the Southern California-based design house responsible for putting together the Lexus LF-LC Concept and creating the FR-S Concept car which toured the nation, builds an aero kit for the 2011-12 Scion tC that integrates marvelously with the current design and fits like it came from the factory in Japan.
tC owners looking to make more of a fashion statement with their second generation Scion should seriously consider the 4-piece urethane body kit by Five:AD. The aero kit, which attaches to factory mounting points for easy installation and minimal intrusion to factory panels, improves upon the tC's basic sport coupe profile with the same quality and durability as an OEM bumper. A professional installer or DIY installer can install the pre-painted kit in approximately 60-90 minutes.
Complementing the Five: AD kit are larger 19-inch forged 7-spoke alloy wheels wrapped in wider tires, giving the tC a broader stance. They looking stunning, but do little to help the tC's weak handling characteristics. Any attempt to get aggressive by attacking a turn or two resulted in heavy oversteer and the front end folding over on itself.
Improving the tC's appearance is only part of the equation. It helps to have a palpable tone to remind you that what you are driving is a step above the hooligans driving a stock Civic Si or Genesis Coupe fitted with accessories from Pep Boys. Having the TRD sport muffler definitely augmented the tC's audible character without the drone associated with a lot of aftermarket exhaust kits. Unfortunately at full throttle, the deep, throaty rumble from the stainless steel exhaust was misleading as Toyota's 2.5-liter motor struggled to move the tC any faster than a Mazda 3.
Scion tC owners coveting the import tuner look for their car can purchase the aero kit through the Scion Optōmize program. Designed and manufactured by Troy Sumitomo's Five Axis Design of Huntington Beach, CA, these kits include a front lip, rear valence, side skirts, and mounting hardware. Scion customers can order these aero kits, as well as other accessories most often found in a compact performance shop, through their Scion dealer or at Scion.com.
MSRP for the pre-painted Five:AD tC Aero Kit is $1,895 exclusive of tax, installation and shipping. MSRP for an unpainted aero kit is $1,195. More information about Five:AD and Troy Sumitomo can be found at www.fivead.net.
For additional information about OEM upgrades available for the Scion, go to optomizescion.com and toyotaracing.com/trd/
2012 Scion tC
- Engine: 2.5-liter I4
- Horsepower: 180 @ 6000 rpm
- Torque: 173 lb.-ft. @ 4100 rpm
- Transmission: 6-speed automatic
- Drivetrain: FWD
- EPA MPG Estimates: 23 city / 31 hwy / 26 combined
- Price as tested: $26,368
TRD 19-inch forged 7-spoke alloy wheels
Part number : PTR56-21100
MSRP: $275/ea. (if purchased separately)
TRD Sport Muffler
Part number: PTR03-21100
MSRP: $649 (if purchased separately)
Three and half minute video of Five:AD 2011-12 Scion tC Aero Kit Install