We’ve been hearing the reports and drawing our conclusions for some time now, but Lexus has just made it official. The SC 430 luxury hardtop convertible will be no more after July of this year. Having soldiered on largely unchanged for nearly a decade (save for a few special edition models), the second-generation SC’s withdrawal from the market is long overdue.
Demand for the SC430 has been steady declining the latter half of the last decade. With the highwater mark set at 14,462 vehicles in 2002, 2009 saw just under 1000 SC430s sold, with 720 of them sold in the U.S. In this final year of production, Lexus will produce approximately 300 cars.
With 288 horsepower and 317 pound-feet of torque on tap from its 4.3-liter V-8 engine, the SC430 was no slouch, capable of hustling from 0 to 60 mph in 5.8 seconds and on to an electronically limited top speed of 149 mph. Still, the SC430 wasn’t exempt from the need for constant updating to stay fresh – something the special Pebble Beach Edition vehicles couldn’t accomplish on their own.
Those already missing the SC430 may not have much longer to wait until a reported all-new next-generation SC debuts in 2014. Said to be dubbed the SC 600h, the new car is slated to feature a 5.0-liter V-8 matched to a hybrid electric system. Stay tuned for more details.