Lexus has just confirmed that the SC 430 luxury hardtop convertible will end production this July. The model has been around -- and has mostly been unchanged except for some special edition models -- for almost a decade.
The second-generation SC has long been rumored to soon be pulled out from the market. During the past five years, the demand for the SC430 has steadily declined. In 2002, it sold 14,462 vehicles.
But in 2009, less than 1,000 SC430s were sold, with 720 of them sold in the US. Lexus will make about 300 cars in the last year of production.
The SC430 is equipped with a 4.3-liter V-8 engine that delivers 288hp and 317 pound-feet of torque, making the car capable of going from zero to 60 mph in 5.8 seconds and hit an electronically limited top speed of 149 mph.
Nevertheless, the SC430 felt the impact of the need for constant upgrading stay fresh. This was something that the special Pebble Beach Edition vehicles just couldn´t do.
But fans of the SC430 would surely light up with the news that in 2014, an all-new next-generation SC will debut. Dubbed the SC 600h, the new car will feature a 5.0-liter V-8 mated to a hybrid electric system.
Toyota has been building the Lexus SC series luxury coupé – sold as Toyota Soarer in Japan -- since 1991 under its Lexus premium brand. Toyota commenced production of the first generation SC – available either as Lexus SC 300 or SC 400 – in 1991 and ended it on July 7, 2000.
Lexus unveiled the new SC 430 sports convertible at the Paris Motor show in 2000 and commenced building the second-generation model in 2001. It was powered by a 4.3 L 3UZ-FE V8 engine – the same engine that powers the Lexus LS -- mated to a five-speed automatic transmission.
This allowed the Lexus SC 430 to accelerate from zero to 60 mph in around 6 seconds. This sports convertible features sleek streamlined design courtesy of Lexus designers from Europe and Japan.
This four-seater boasts of an all-leather interior, retractable aluminum hardtop and 18-inch alloy wheels while commanding a starting price of US$63,825. The SC 430 was considered a rival option to the Mercedes-Benz SL-Class, BMW 6-series, Cadillac XLR, and Jaguar XK.