The slow-selling SC 300/400 coupe, which debuted as a 1992 model, will be replaced in spring 2001 by the first convertible for the Lexus brand, the SC 430.
Lexus confirmed plans to build the SC 430 at the New York Auto Show in April; it will have a retractable hardtop that folds into the trunk. The SC 430 will use the same 300-horsepower 4.3-liter V-8 as the new Lexus LS 430 sedan due to arrive in the fall of 2000.
Lexus, the luxury division of Toyota, estimates the price of the SC 430 to be in the high 50s, about the same as the current SC 400.
Styled at Toyotas California design studio, the SC coupe features a wedge shape and low nose with integrated headlamps and separate round halogen high beams. The doors have a unique four-hinge design that allows them to swing outward and forward, which requires less space to open completely than conventional designs.
Fully furnished with a plethora of convenience features, the SC 300 and SC 400 come with standard 10-way power front seats, birds-eye maple trim, a 215-watt sound system with six-disc CD changer and remote keyless entry. Leather upholstery and a power tilt/telescoping steering column are standard on the SC 400 and optional on the SC 300.
While front-seaters get plenty of room, the rear seat lacks enough space for adults to fit comfortably.
Under the Hood
The model names denote engine size. The SC 300 uses a 225-horsepower inline-six-cylinder, and the SC 400 has a 290-hp 4.0-liter V-8 the same engine as the LS 400 sedan. The SC 300 comes with a four-speed automatic transmission, and the SC 400 is a five-speed automatic.