SC 430 LAUNCH PACK (JULY 2001)

SC430 – The New Lexus Icon

Key Points

  • Incorporates some of the most sophisticated automotive technology available, combined with compact, stylish and avant-garde styling
  • Electrically retractable aluminium hard top combines coupe and convertible in one state-of-the-art concept
  • Careful airflow management ensures highest levels of high-speed, top down comfort and stability, along with a Cd of 0.29 with hard top closed
  • Powerful 282bhp, 4.3-litre, 32-valve V8 engine with Variable Valve Timing- intelligent (VVT-i)
  • Exceptionally rigid body structure, double wishbone front and rear suspension,
  • 18-inch alloy wheels and 245/40 ZR 18 run-flat tyres create optimum handling
  • Safety enhanced by high structural integrity, plus ABS, Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD), Traction Control (TRC), Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Brake Assist (BA), Tyre Pressure Warning System (TPWS) and SRS airbags
  • 2001 supply of 250 cars already sold out
  • On sale from July, priced at £50,850 on the road
  • High standard specification including DVD Lexus Navigator System, high power nine speaker Mark Levinson Hi-Fi and special run-flat tyres
  • 0-62mph acceleration in 6.4 seconds, maximum speed limited at 155mph
  • Low combined fuel consumption of 23.5 mpg, CO2 emissions 287g/km

Short Story

The new Lexus SC430, the first-ever convertible model from the marque, made its European debut at the 2001 Geneva Motor Show in March and will be on sale in the UK in July. The new ‘Jewel of Lexus’ and the flagship of the Lexus range, was designed from the outset to be the world’s finest all-round luxury convertible, with an integrated all-metal retractable roof offering the ‘best of both worlds’. The SC430 combines open-air driving pleasure with Lexus standards of comfort and refinement and is already, before its public launch, a sell-out success in the UK until well into 2002. Sales volume for this year is 250 cars.

The SC430 combines the highest levels of performance and world-leading refinement and efficiency from its 282bhp, 4.3-litre V8 engine and five-speed automatic transmission, with an elegant design and retractable hardtop that will transform it from a coupé into a convertible at the push of a button.

“The Lexus brand has a status as one of the best in the world, but I wanted to create a car that would bring an even higher level of prestige to Lexus,” said Mr. Yasushi Nakagawa, Chief Engineer of the Lexus SC430.

“This car would not just be an addition to the Lexus line-up, but would be the finest all-round luxury convertible. It would offer cutting-edge styling, class-leading performance, plus a full range of superior and refined equipment, such as the folding roof, designed to further heighten driving pleasure.”

From Coupe to Convertible in 25 Seconds

The SC430 is fitted as standard with an electrically operated fully retractable hard top that transforms the car from a sleek coupé into a convertible in less than half a minute.

Operation of the roof assembly could not be simpler via a single touch of a button on the facia. A warning lamp indicates that the roof is being activated and a buzzer sounds to indicate the start and end of roof operation. Safety is ensured as the hard top will only operate for as long as the button is depressed, the roof will automatically stop if the driver’s hand is removed from the switch.

There are nine points in the roof opening sequence:

  • Fully closed. Driver activates Hardtop Control Switch
  • Luggage compartment front is unlocked and the side windows automatically open
  • The front of the boot lid opens
  • Roof begins to lift and fold rearwards
  • Package tray behind seats opens
  • Roof folds into storage compartment
  • Package tray folds back into place leaving clean appearance
  • Boot lid closes
  • Roof open. Occupants enjoy the sunshine

On the move with the roof down, the SC430 continues to maintain the customary standards of Lexus refinement and comfort, thanks to the use of computer generated ‘wind wrap’ analysis to carefully control the airflow in and around the passenger compartment. A deflector fitted between the rear seat headrests helps control the airflow and ensures comfort at high speeds by minimising airflow or buffeting around the occupants’ head and shoulder area.

In addition to the manufacturer’s own wind tunnel, The Maibara wind tunnel, used for the development of the Shinkansen Bullet Train was utilised because of its very low background noise. This enabled Lexus to concentrate on the reduction of wind noise as much as possible. This special wind tunnel was also used during the development of the LS430 introduced last year.

Careful tuning has also been applied to the underside aerodynamics of the SC430 by installing specially shaped covers at various sections of the floor pan. These covers reduce lift, add to high speed stability and contribute to the resulting low CD figure of just 0.29 with the hard top in its closed position.

Superior Styling

Lexus designers from Europe and Japan worked together to create the design of the impressive coupé shape at the Europe Design studio (ED2) in Marseilles. This design studio and stylish surroundings of the French Riviera gave inspiration for the creation of the avant-garde exterior and the sophisticated interior styling of the SC430.

For the interior, moulded plastics were rejected in favour of natural materials such as wood and leather. As with the exterior styling, the design team sought expertise from outside the automobile industry to learn more about craftmanship. This included spending time with the Yamaha musical instrument factory to learn more about their special timber moulding techniques, used in forming pianos and guitars.

Perfect Interior Climate, Roof up or Down

The Lexus SC430 features one of the world’s most advanced climate control systems that allows occupants to enjoy more top-down driving than conventional convertibles. The system automatically adjusts airflow and temperature, differentiating between top-up or top-down driving needs.

When driving with the roof down in low outside temperatures, special air ducts in the centre console direct warm air into the lower section of the passenger compartment.

When driving with the top down on warm days, the system regulates fan speed and temperature accordingly depending on the road speed of the car. A solar correction sensor is also fitted, close to the windscreen, which measures the sun’s heat and adjusts the cabin temperature accordingly.

Class Leading Performance

The SC430 shares the same engine as GS430 and LS430, a 282 bhp 4.3-litre V8 engine with VVT-i (Variable Valve Timing-intelligent) that provides effortless overtaking power with its 419Nm of torque at just 3,500rpm. This engine meets the

step IV emissions requirements of 2005 and will return a combined fuel consumption figure of 23.5mpg.

The SC430 uses a five speed, intelligent automatic gearbox with Artificial Intelligence shift control that can adapt to road type (winding, up, down) and also the driver’s style.

Trips to the Lexus Service Centre – or Lack of Them

The SC430 will require a full service only every 20,000 miles and will require a health check, taking less than an hour to complete, every 10,000 miles or once a year. Special iridium-tipped spark plugs are fitted that only require replacement every 60,000 miles and the timing belt will require replacement only every 90,000 miles.

Run-Flat Tyres

The SC430 is fitted as standard with run-flat tyres that enable the car to be driven with a puncture for up to 100 miles at speeds of up to 55mph. These tyres have reinforced side-walls that are able to support the weight of the vehicle without any pressure left in the tyre. This of course alleviates the need for a spare which frees up more space for luggage.

The run-flat tyre also provides added safety as roadside tyre changes are no longer necessary. Early warning of a loss of pressure in a tyre is also detected much earlier thanks to the Tyre Pressure Warning System (TPWS) also fitted as standard equipment.

Standard Specification

The SC430 features a very high level of standard equipment including full leather interior, wood and leather steering wheel, electrically operated driver and passenger seats with heating and memory function, nine speaker Mark Levinson Hi-Fi system, DVD touch screen Lexus Navigator System and six CD in-dash autochanger.

Prospective purchasers of the Lexus SC430 may also have other premium brand models on their shortlist such as Mercedes SL500, Jaguar XK8 convertible and Porsche 911 cabriolet; all of which are more expensive by at least £4,500.

The SC430 has many standard equipment features that are not offered, even as an option, by its competitors. Features such as tyre pressure warning, DVD navigation, Mark Levinson Hi-Fi and electrically-retractable hard top are unique to SC430. To specify GPS navigation on the Mercedes or Jaguar would cost around £2,000 more and 18-inch alloy wheels are only available as standard on the Jaguar XKR V8 convertible. The SC430 is the only car in this class to offer run-flat tyres as standard equipment.

The DVD Lexus Navigator on SC430 allows for up to 13 times the amount of information to be stored as on a conventional CD driven navigation system.

To specify a Mercedes SL500 at £65,340 to a level close to the SC430 without its unique features would cost £4,740 more and the Jaguar XK8 convertible at £55,350 would cost £8,650 more. The high level of standard equipment on SC430 proves once again that Lexus is the intelligent choice, whichever car from the now five model range is chosen.

Lexus SC430 versus Competitors

LEXUS

MERCEDES

JAGUAR

MERCEDES

MERCEDES

JAGUAR

PORSCHE

SC430 V8

SL500 V8

XK8 V8

SL320 V6

CLK430 V8

XKR V8

911 CARRERA

Sport Coupe

CABRIOLET

CONVERTIBLE

CABRIOLET

CABRIOLET

CONVERTIBLE

CABRIOLET

Premium brand audio

Mark Levinson

X

X

Blaupunkt/Becker

Blaupunkt/Becker

X

X

Automatic transmission

ü ü ü ü ü ü

X

CD Autochanger

ü ü ü

£600.00

£380.00

ü

X

Electronic brake distribution

ü

X

X

X

X

X

X

Brake assist

ü ü

X

ü ü

X

X

Traction control

ü ü ü ü ü ü

£965.00

Vehicle stability control

ü ü ü ü ü ü ü

Low tyre pressure warning

ü

X

X

X

X

X

X

Cruise Control

ü ü

£380.00

ü ü ü

£450.00

Satellite Navigation System

ü

£2,000.00

£2,235.00

£2,310.00

£1,890.00

£2,000.00

X

Electrically adjustable driver seat with memory

ü ü

£1,330.00

£575.00

ü ü

£1,465.00

Electric adjustable passenger seat with memory ü ü ü ü ü ü ü

Heated front seat

ü ü ü ü

£307.00

ü

£365.00

Electric steering wheel with memory

ü ü ü ü

X

ü ü

Wood & leather steering wheel

ü

£554.00

ü

£554.00

£450.00

ü

£1,121.00

Reach/rake steering wheel adjustment

ü ü ü ü ü ü ü

Speed proportional power steering

ü ü ü ü

X

ü

X

Electrochromic interior mirror

ü ü ü

£222.00

£222.00

ü

£500.00

Electrochromic exterior mirror

ü ü

X

X

X

ü

X

Electric folding exterior mirror

ü

X

£275.00

X

£223.00

X

X

Convertible roof type

Hard

Soft

Soft

Soft

Soft

Soft

Soft

Wind deflector

ü ü

X

ü

£275.00

X

£295.00

Headlamp type

HID

£396.00

Halogen

£396.00

£710.00

Halogen

£885.00

Headlamp washers

ü ü

£315.00

ü

£314.00

ü

£210.00

Alloy wheels

18″

£1,790.00

£950.00

£1,790.00

17″ only

ü

£960.00

Spare wheel

Run-flat

Space saver

Space saver

Space saver

Full size

Space saver

Space saver

OTR price

£50,850.00

£65,340.00

£55,350.00

£53,290.00

£44,190.00

£63,350.00

£62,180.00

Specification adjusted price

£50,850.00

£70,080.00

£60,839.00

£56,827.00

£48,961.00

£65,350.00

£69,396.00

Absolute specification adjustment vs Lexus SC430

£4,740.00

£5,489.00

£3,537.00

£4,771.00

£2,000.00

£7,216.00

Price position vs Lexus SC430

+ 37.82%

+ 19.64%

+ 11.75%

-3.71%

+ 28.52%

+ 36.47%

CO2 Emissions (g/km)

287

300

284

274

292

305

285

Taxable P11D rate 2002/2003

35%

35%

35%

35%

35%

35%

35%

CO2 based specification adjusted monthly tax charge 2002/2003*

£591.33

£815.68

£707.86

£661.06

£569.29

£760.49

£807.70

Variance vs Lexus SC430

£224.35

£116.54

£69.73

-£22.04

£169.17

£216.37

* Monthly tax charge based on the assumption that the P11D value of competitor vehicles includes the relevant options costs required to bring each vehicle up to the equivalent specification of the Lexus. It also assumes a marginal rate of income tax of 40% (information correct as at September 2001)


**This includes electrically adjustable passenger seat with memory

SC430 EQUIPMENT LIST

SAFETY

SC430

Driver & front passenger airbags

ü

Driver & front passenger side airbags

ü

Passenger airbag detection function

ü

Run-flat tyres

ü

Fuel cut safety system

ü

Anti-lock braking system with EBD and Brake Assist

ü

Ventilated front disc brakes

ü

Solid rear disc brakes

ü

Vehicle stability control

ü

Speed sensitive power steering

ü

Electronic sensing front seatbelt pre-tensioners with force limiters

ü

Four 3-point seat-belts and headrests

ü

Seat belt warning system

ü

Multi link windscreen wiper system

ü

Foot operated parking brake

ü

All-round double wishbone suspension

ü

Side impact door bars

ü

Rain sensitive wipers

ü

Electrically adjustable, heated and foldable rear view mirrors

ü

UV protection glass for all windows

ü

Water repellant side windows

ü

Interior/exterior photochromic anti-glare rear view mirrors

ü
INSTRUMENTS & CONTROLS

7.0 inch LCD touch-screen Multi-display

ü

Electric headlamp levelling

ü

Digital odometer/trip meter

ü

DVD Lexus Navigator System

ü
AUDIO

Mark Levinson 9 speaker audio system with 3 wave-band radio and Dolby cassette

ü

RDS radio with one-touch tuning and presets

ü

In-dash 6 disc CD autochanger

ü
COMFORT & CONVENIENCE

Electrically operated aluminium hard top

ü

Speed sensitive power assisted steering (PAS)

ü

Snow mode for automatic gearbox

ü

Electrically adjustable steering column

ü

Remote fuel flap release

ü

Driver and front passenger vanity mirrors

ü

Cruise control

ü

Multi-function wood and leather steering wheel

ü
VENTILATION

Climate control air conditioning with solar correction

ü

SECURITY

Vehicle parts marking

ü

Security window etching

ü

Visible VIN

ü

Double locking

ü

SEATING, UPHOLSTERY & TRIM

8-way electrically multi adjustable front seats with 4-way lumbar support and memory function

ü

Heated driver and passenger seats

ü

Full leather seat trim

ü

BODY EXTERIOR

Wave reflection High Intensity Discharge headlamps

ü

Automatic light control system

ü

18″ alloy wheels with locking wheel nuts

ü

 

SC430 TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

 

ENGINE

Engine Type

3UZ-FE

Valve Mechanism

32 valve, DOHC, VVT-i

Block Material

Aluminium

Head Material

Aluminium

Displacement (cc)

4293

Bore x Stroke (mm)

91 x 82.5

Compression ratio

10.5:1

Fuel Injection Type

EFI, L-Jetronic

Ignition System

Transistorised

Octane Rating

95 or higher

Max. Power (bhp/rpm)

282 @ 5,600

Max. Torque (Nm/rpm)

419 @ 3,500

ACCELERATION (sec)

0-62mph

6.4

Max. speed (mph)

155

DIMENSIONS

Overall length (mm)

4515

Overall width (mm)

1825

Overall height (mm)

1370

Wheelbase (mm)

2620

Tread (mm) front

1550

Tread (mm) rear

1535

Overhang (mm) front

890

Overhang (mm) rear

1005

Coefficient of Drag (Cd)

0.29

Minimum turning radius (m) (body)

5.7

Fuel tank capacity (L) Gallons

(75) 16.5

INTERIOR DIMENSIONS

Interior room length (mm)

1495

Interior room width (mm)

1500

Interior room height (mm)

1080

Luggage capacity- Litres (roof up)

368

Luggage capacity- Litres (roof down)

135

WEIGHTS (kg)

Kerb weight

1740

Gross vehicle weight

2110

TRANSMISSION

Type

A650F

Gearbox type

Automatic Super ECT

Gear ratios

1st

3.357

2nd

2.180

3rd

1.424

4th

1.000

5th

0.753

Reverse

3.431

Differential Gear Ratio

3.266

ENDS

Lexus Press Team

For further information, please contact one of the following:
James Clark on 01737 367919 or by e-mail at james.clark@tgb.toyota.co.uk
General media enquiries
Erica Haddon on 01737 367308 or by e-mail at erica.haddon@tgb.toyota.co.uk
General media enquiries
David Crouch on 01737367505 or by email at david.crouch@tgb.toyota.co.uk
General, fleet and motorsport media enquiries
Richard Seymour on 01737 367272 or by e-mail at richard.seymour@tgb.toyota.co.uk
General and technical media enquiries