From New York: Another Manual Bites the Dust, Scion Gets Out-Designed

2011 Hyundai Equus

Buy a new Equus, get a new iPad?

Technology is evolving to change the way we drive. I recently shared my disgust over the eventual demise of the manual transmission, and now it’s only a matter of time before another manual bites the dust, too:

The paper owner’s manual.

Owner’s manuals are already the size of a Dan Brown novel, and as cars get more advanced and offer more gadgets, those manuals will keep getting thicker.

Hyundai has a potentially cool electronic solution, though.

Along with the introduction of its all-new Equus at the New York Motor Show, the automaker announced that each new Equus owner will receive a “multimedia tablet” to replace the paper owner’s manual. Some think the tablet in question will be none other than Apple’s new iPad.

So it seems the day has come when we’ll actually need an owner’s manual to operate the owner’s manuals that come with our cars.

Is this a good idea? What about the risks of leaving the tablet in the glovebox on a really hot day? Will the subsequent owner of each Equus need to buy a new tablet, because the previous owner kept his? Hmmm. Too many questions. I say, stick with the books.

In other New York news, a show-car tuner has built a better looking new Scion tC than Scion did.

While the newly unveiled tC is a fine looking car, it’s not nearly as much of a change as I had hoped for or expected. Let’s compare pictures, shall we? First, here’s the factory tC:

2011 Scion tC

Now, here’s a version modified by an outfit called Five Axis:

Five Axis Scion tC

Anyone else think maybe Toyota should hire some Five Axis designers?

While it looks mean, there’s no extra performance to back it up. The modded tC is still powered by the same 180-hp four-cylinder driving the front wheels. So those massive 295/30/20 10.5-inch-wide tires in the rear are only for show.

But what a good show it is!

Would you like the owner’s manual for your car to be electronic? What do you think of the new Scion tC?


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Used Scion tC


  1. toyota has hired five axis designers. remember the lexus is-f concept that was at sema? built by five axis.

  2. So will you need a manual to learn how to operate the ipad so you can read the vehicle manual?

    Car manufacturers need to do a study and find out the top 25 reasons customers consult the manual in the first place, and put that information in a “mini” manual. Things like periodic maintenance (oil, air filter, etc.) how to reset the clock, operating vehicle systems like nav, climate control and stereo all top the list of why we use the manual.

  3. the Five Axis tC’s nose looks like it smacked a wall at about 35mph. the fat fender flares are cool, and i’m sure allow for some big rubber to be stuffed in there, but it’s still a FWD turd, in my opinion.

  4. You’re right: of course they should stick with the books, just make them less like shop manuals and more like the quick-reading owners manuals they should be.

    You could have short tutorials over something like Microsoft’s Sync, but how many people would listen to that? Too much of the tech stuff in cars is simply user-unfriendly or keeps drivers and machines apart.

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