The Lexus SC430 luxury convertible is entering the 2010 model year with more standard technologies. It is now on sale at a price of $67,505.
The SC’s sleek style is enhanced by a low-profile front grille surrounded by chrome. The aggressive front bumper, projector-lens headlamps and stylish rear combination LED taillamps add to its fluid design. It comes equipped with iPod/USB Connectivity, Streaming Audio, Lexus Navigation System and Mark Levinson Premium Audio System.
The 2010 Lexus SC430 features an all-aluminum construction, and is powered by a 4.3-liter engine that produces 288 hp and 317 lb-ft of torque. It can go from 0 to 60 mph in a remarkable 5.8 seconds. The engine is mated to a six-speed Sequential-Shift automatic transmission. The sequential-shifting capability enhances performance by allowing the driver to nudge the gearshift forward or backward. It works in conjunction with the Electronically Controlled Transmission with intelligence (ECT-i), which compensates for uphills, downhills and headwinds, even adapting shift-timing to the driver’s acceleration habits.
Press release after the jump.
Lexus adds interior technology and exterior enhancements to the 2010 SC 430, the pioneer of the retractable hardtop in the prestige luxury segment. To build on the driving experience, the 2010 SC is now equipped with an updated Lexus Navigation System and Mark Levinson® Premium Audio System. The enhanced audio package now features iPod®/USB connectivity, auxiliary audio input, Bluetooth® hands free phone and music streaming capabilities, and an available XM® satellite radio receiver (complimentary 90-day trial subscription). On the exterior, the 2010 SC is now outfitted with 18-inch six-spoke wheels with a dark finish, side mirrors with integrated puddle lamps, and Costa Azul Mica is a newly available exterior color.
4.3-liter V8 engine, 288 hp and 317 lb.-ft. of torque, 0-60 mph in 5,8 seconds
The rear-wheel-drive SC 430 is powered by an aluminum double-overhead cam (DOHC) 4.3-liter V8 engine that produces 288 horsepower and 317 lb.-ft. of peak torque. Power is channeled through a six-speed automatic transmission, enabling the SC 430 to accelerate from zero-to-60 mph in just 5.8 seconds.
The SC 430’s V8 is the epitome of Lexus smoothness and graceful response. Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i) enhances torque over a broad speed range. The Intuitive Powertrain Control works with the Electronic Throttle Control to help smooth out acceleration from a standing start. The SC 430 meets Ultra-Low Emissions Vehicle II (ULEV II) certification.
The six-speed automatic transmission employs Shift Logic Control to respond to road grade and acceleration/deceleration activity, holding gears or downshifting on hills to help provide optimal engine power or a braking effect. A manual sequential-shift feature allows the driver to enjoy a more involved driving experience when desired.
Engineered as a convertible from the start, the SC 430’s structure provides outstanding strength whether the retractable hardtop is up or down. The rigid structure allowed Lexus to tune the front and rear double-wishbone independent suspension to help deliver both responsive handling and its signature smooth ride.
The 53/47 weight distribution helps deliver optimal balance for confident steering response and impressive agility, aided by standard 18-inch six-spoke wheels with 245/40R18 Z-rated tires. All-season or summer run-flat tires are available as an option.
The Lexus SC 430 matches its performance capability with the brand’s renowned attention to safety and security. The Supplemental Restraint System (SRS) includes front airbags and front seat-mounted side airbags. A front-passenger-seat weight detection sensor helps determine whether the passenger airbag should deploy. Front-knee airbags help to provide further overall occupant protection in the SC 430.
An array of dynamic electronic features help contribute to safe, precise handling in the SC 430: a four-sensor, four-channel Anti-lock Braking System (ABS); Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD); Brake Assist (BA) and Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) with traction control (TRAC). EBD monitors all four wheels during braking and varies brake pressure according to the load on each wheel.
VSC helps control lateral traction while cornering on slippery or dry road surfaces by using a combination of throttle intervention and applying individual wheel braking to help control any discrepancy between where the driver is steering and where the vehicle is heading. Integrated with VSC, TRAC is designed to help limit rear-wheel spin on slippery road surfaces. BA is designed to determine if the driver is attempting emergency braking, and if the driver has not stepped firmly enough on the brake pedal to engage ABS, it applies increased braking power until pedal pressure is released.
0-60 mph in 5.8 seconds, top speed limited to 149 mph
The SC 430 was among the first Lexus models to offer the advanced Adaptive Front-lighting System (AFS) that helps to enhance nighttime visibility in turns and curves. In the SC 430, a central controller calculates the optimum lighting direction based on input from vehicle speed and steering angle and swivels the right and left headlights independently. A self-leveling feature automatically levels the lights depending on road conditions. An AFS on/off switch allows the driver to disengage the system at any time. Other SC 430 safety and visibility features include daytime-running lights, fog lamps and projector-type High-Intensity Discharge (HID) headlights with auto levelers.
The Lexus SC 430 is so luxuriously equipped, that there are no optional extras offered for the interior. Front occupants enjoy the comfort of 10-way, power-adjustable heated seats. Reflecting the brand’s meticulous attention to convenience, the steering wheel automatically tilts away when the ignition is turned off to make exiting and entry easier, then returns to its memory position when the car is started again.
The SC 430’s advanced climate-control system is specifically designed for a convertible environment. The system adjusts airflow and temperature automatically, differentiating between top-up and top-down driving needs and taking into account the outside temperature to help ensure occupant comfort.
Like all Lexus models, the SC 430 offers advanced technology that enhances the driving and ownership experience, yet is easy to use. The updated standard Lexus Navigation System offers Bluetooth phonebook download. Also featured is a voice-command feature that allows hands-free use and provides easy-to-understand graphics and phone-number-based address recognition. SC receives a new central wide-format color display for 2010. The console offers a split-screen option and also adjusts seven degrees up or down to help minimize sun glare when the top is down.
XM NavTraffic® and XM NavWeather™ services are also available (complimentary 90-day trial subscription). XM NavTraffic informs the driver of current traffic conditions with real-time traffic displays. When traffic problems are detected the navigation system alerts the driver so that the route can be adjusted. XM NavWeather provides near real-time weather conditions as well as spoken and nav-screen forecasts, both based on official National Weather Service data.
The 2010 SC 430 comes equipped as standard with the updated Mark Levinson Premium Audio System. Like the climate control system, the SC 430’s Mark Levinson system is configured to self-optimize performance for top-up or top-down driving. Designed by one of the audio field’s legendary innovative brands, the SC 430’s system uses a seven-channel DSP 240-watt amplifier and nine strategically located speakers to turn the car’s interior into a private concert hall. System equalization automatically adjusts when the roof is lowered to compensate for the changed acoustics and ambient noise levels, and it returns to its original levels when the roof is raised. The Mark Levinson Premium Audio System now features iPod/USB connectivity, auxiliary audio input, Bluetooth hands free phone and music streaming capabilities. An XM satellite radio receiver is also available and includes a complimentary 90-day trial subscription when equipped.
The Lexus SC 430 brings classic luxury, performance and high technology together in an elegantly styled hardtop convertible. With the push of a button, the retractable hardtop transforms the SC 430 from a sleek coupe into an elegant convertible in 25 seconds.
Narrow and precise body gaps, a Lexus hallmark, accentuate the SC 430’s sleek, elegant lines. Nine exterior colors are offered, with extensive use of anti-chipping paint on lower body panels. Good design continues underneath the SC 430, where four underbody covers (engine, floor, front and rear) enhance aerodynamic performance.
Sound damping material inside rear wheel wells, under the floor, rocker moldings and retractable hardtop contribute to low noise levels in the SC 430. Puddle lamps are now integrated into the side mirrors and the only factory options for the SC 430 are a rear spoiler and run-flat tires.
The SC 430’s ultra-luxurious interior, with its plush combination of natural materials including leather and wood trim, took inspiration from high-end, custom-made yachts. Semi-aniline leather trims not only the seats but also the door armrests, console cover, and front seat-belt guides. This hand-stitched leather trim is available in three colors, including black, Camel and Ecru.
Genuine wood trim is used liberally throughout the SC 430 interior, including the center console, doors and instrument panel, plus a matching wood-trim shift knob and a wood-trim cover panel for the dual front cup holders. A dark brown wood color called Espresso Birds-eye Maple is paired with the Camel color leather-trim interior. Walnut wood trim is used with the Ecru and black leather-trim interiors.
Electrically powered, wood-trimmed access doors conceal both the audio system head unit and the standard navigation system. The sporty instrument-gauge panel is complemented by the same steering-wheel design used in the GS sedans. This luxurious wood and leather-trimmed wheel features a power tilt-telescope adjustment along with integrated cruise control and audio switches.
"In reviews, we found that despite a 288-horsepower V8 and somewhat sporty suspension calibrations, an involving drive and razor-sharp handling aren’t a part of the SC’s pedigree. Sixty mph comes up in a respectably quick 5.8 seconds, but the SC 430 clearly places plush ride comfort over sporty handling dynamics. The suspension soaks up bumps like a new sponge but the drive just isn’t very entertaining." (Edmunds)
"As a luxury convertible, the price tag on a Lexus SC can seem steep, but you get a lot of standard amenities for the money, including a power aluminum alloy roof. It goes without saying that everything in the car, from the seats to the mirrors to the steering wheel is powered, and wood and leather are found throughout the cabin. A slew of high-tech safety features are standard as well." (AutoGuide)
"Better suited to slow roaming of the avenues than serious driving, the SC430 shakes and rattles over bumps and rolls in the twisties." (CarAndDriver)
The BMW 650i Convertible is powered by a 4.8-liter V-8 engine that delivers a total of 360 horsepower and 350 lb-ft torque at 3400-3800 rpm. The engine is mated to a choice of manual or automatic 6-speed transmissions and Active Roll Stabilization. It is priced at $85,550.
The 2010 XK Convertible is powered by an all new 5.0 Liter V8 that makes a total of 385 HP and 380 lb-ft of torque propelling the drop top sports coupe from 0 to 60 MPH in only 5.2 seconds while returning as much as 22 MPG on the highway. Prices start at $89,000.
The E-Class Cabrio will be offered with a choice of two engines, a 3.5 Liter V6 that makes 268 HP and 258 lb-ft of torque in the E350 and a 5.5 Liter V8 pumping out 382 HP and 391 lb-ft of torque in the E550. Prices for the US market are to be announced.
Even if the SC430 carries a higher price than the other convertible in Lexus’ line-up that doesn’t make it a better ride. You might believe that you’ll got more from a car priced at almost $70k, but that’s wrong. The SC430 needs a lot of improvements, starting with the way it looks like and finishing with the way it drives.
So, sorry Lexus but this time BMW won the battle, even if the 650i Convertible is much more expensive. Until you’ll come with something new we’ll stick to German models.