Make / Model Search

Lexus SC

UZZ40R SC 430

1 Oct 2001

LEXUS’ reply to the Mercedes-Benz CL was certainly distinctive.

Said to be inspired by fast luxury boats, the SC 430 opened a new market for the brand in Australia, although its SC 400 predecessor – based on the Japanese-market Toyota Soarer – arrived here in reasonable numbers as unofficial ‘grey’ imports.

The SC 430’s party trick was not the electric folding metal roof that turned it from a 2+2 seater coupe (and the rear seats are barely capable of carrying a baby) into an extremely pleasant and refined convertible.

Nor was it the utterly buttery 210kW/419Nm 4.3-litre quad-cam 32-valve V8 powerplant mated to an equally smooth five-speed automatic gearbox, or stratospheric levels of gizmos and gadgets.

No, the SC 430’s appeal lay in its brash bug-eyed styling that brazenly screamed “Key West” or “Beverly Hills” and looked like no other car on the market.

And, like the Lexus RX 330, although the dynamics were a little on the vague and roly poly side, there was still much hedonistic pleasure to gain from the slick salubriousness that was the SC 430.

In October ’04 Lexus wrought a surprisingly subtle yet effective facelift that added a little sharpness to the SC’s styling.

The Road to Recovery podcast series

Read more

When it was new

Lexus models

Catch up on all of the latest industry news with this week's edition of GoAutoNews
Click here