Let's face it, there's no other car manufacturer on the planet quite like Scion. Love it or hate it they are the "it" brand with others trying to follow in their footsteps. We've all seen the knock off commercials but it's going to take a lot more for other brands to catch up. Scion not only understands our scene but actually encourages modification and customization.
In a time full of boring cars, tough warranty regulations and emphasis on fuel economy it's nice to see at least one company staying true to the ideals that made us car lovers in the first place. I mean what other company would factory back a drift team campaigning a car that they don't really make? Scion has their finger on the pulse and even greater things are on the horizon.
It's with this background knowledge that Scion set forth to update it's best selling car, the tC. When it was time to develop the replacement, Scion started with an all-new platform and made everything bolted to it better. The engine displacement and power went up while actually improving MPG. The brakes and wheels are larger on all corners for the 2011 model. There's really nothing about the second generation that isn't better.
But Scion being Scion wanted to practice what they preach and knew that to really kick off the new chassis they needed to show us, the consumers, its real potential. While the car in stock form is nothing to scoff at, Scion lives to blow minds. They wanted an aggressive, exaggerated and 100% bad ass version of the new coupe and they knew just the man to turn to, Troy Sumitomo of Five Axis.
Five Axis and Scion have a healthy relationship stemming from a small fleet of cars that Troy has put out for the brand in the past. Most notably, the first car Five Axis did for Scion, the orange DJxB, also graced our cover. With Five Axis on board for the new tC it was time to get down to business like only they can.
The second gen tC has a huge emphasis on masculine styling right from the showroom floor, it was Troy's job to blast it with another shot of testosterone. When you look at the car it's safe to say that aggressive is an understatement. It looks like the car is going to shred your face off and burn out on your remains. Ironically that's exactly what it's supposed to look like, sort of.
Five Axis' design draws inspiration from a samurai warrior's armor and headdress. Coincidentally, Scion's original design of the car was created around a driving helmet (note how the black a-pillars complete a visor-esque shape in the glass) so the two ideals blend together almost seamlessly. While making the car profusely wider the kit also looks as though it is in place to protect the car just as the warrior's armor would.
Scion tells me they wanted Troy to take the stock car and make it darker, meaner and more evil. In the Five Axis design you can definitely see these ideas coming to fruition in the form of a balancing act between light and shadow. As a photographer I found this car to be extremely difficult to capture but rewarding when properly lit, the goal behind Five Axis' layering madness.
From the oversized front grills to the multi-tiered rear diffuser the play on texture and layers cover the car. It looks almost as if you could throw a potato through the front grill and end up with chips by the time it came out the other side. But I suppose that's what Scion wants to prove with the tC, this car will eat you up and spit you out the other side without breaking a sweat.
The chest hair-inducing styling doesn't quit on the exterior though. It seems as though the whole theme of the new tC is masculinity and Scion spared no expense to beef up the cockpit. With the exception of the all-glass moon roof they went to town redesigning the inside. For example the entire dash and console is now driver facing, giving the illusion of a fighter jet to anyone who chooses to pilot the beast.
Once again Five Axis just couldn't leave good enough alone and got medieval on the interior. Maybe medieval isn't the right term but he sure as hell added his own flare by way of new textures and colors. The fabric of the seats has been changed over to Ultrasuede with red perforation. Just to make sure the driver remembers that they are in the Bloodshot tC Troy added a splash of color to some of the interior trim for the final touches.
Possibly the main reason why Five Axis has been so successful collaborating with Scion is Troy's innate ability to tap into the market. He is an enthusiast like us and his latest project shows this very well. In today's car society there is a saying floating around that "stance is everything." Sumitomo knew that no matter how aggressive, wide or angular the exterior became it just wouldn't look right until it was slammed and flush.
In order to get the tC into the pissed off bulldog stance Troy hammered the car with a set of Tein coilovers. With the car significantly lower than Scion produced and widening four inches all around the last piece to complete the puzzle were the wheels. For this car Troy made a special set of R5:F wheels in twenty inch sizes, eight and a half in the front and ten and a half in the rear. The massive Advan rubber surrounding them makes this tC look like a Viper killer.
In a time when performance is usually tossed to the wayside for economy and looks are discarded for sake of safety, the Bloodshot tC is a sight for sore eyes. It's living, breathing, backfiring proof that the industry isn't dead and that automakers recognize us as an important demographic. I can only hope that in the future other companies can follow the path that Scion has blazed.
2011 Scion tC
Owner Five axis/scion
Hometown Huntington Beach, Ca
Occupation Building bad-ass cars and models
Engine 2.5L naturally-aspirated inline four cylinder
Drivetrain 6-speed manual transmission
Footwork & Chassis
TEIN adjustable coilover suspension
BRAKES TRD custom big brake kit 355X28mm 2-piece floating rotors (front)/332X28mm 2-piece floating rotors (rear)
Wheels & Tires
20X8.5''/20X10.5'' FIVE:AD R5:F wheels; 245/30ZR20 295/25ZR20 Yokohama Advan Sport tires
Five Axis 4'' custom widebody; custom House of Kolor Five Axis formulated Bloodshot Red paint
Five Axis interior trim and color enhancements; custom leather seats with Ultrasuede® EcoDesign™ Inserts; Chilewich floor mats; material specs by Zing Design; upholstery by Little John's Interior Concepts
Five Axis is extremely grateful that Scion calls on us for these great opportunities. Five Axis has the unique advantage of working on high end concepts that we carry over into our own builds but it's the opportunity given to us by Scion that makes it possible to do what we do. None of this could happen without my amazing team and industry partners like Yokohama, Stoptech and TEIN who make it possible to pull programs like this off in the timeframe that we do. Huge thank you to all of them!
Stay tuned as we will be testdriving the 2011 tC soon and we'll let you know just how much better it really is. And if you want to check out the new tC for yourself, it will be at a showroom soon!