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Lexus SC

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Wikipedia: Lexus SC

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A grand touring coupe produced by Lexus from 1991-2010. Specific models include the SC300, SC400, and SC 430

History

The following section is an excerpt from Wikipedia's Lexus SC page on 6 July 2016, text available via the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

The Lexus SC (Japanese: レクサス・SC) is a grand tourer that was retailed by Lexus, and built from 1991 through 2010. It features a front engine, rear-wheel drive design and seating for up to four passengers. The first-generation SC debuted as the V8-powered SC 400 in 1991, and the I6-powered SC 300 was added in 1992. Both first-generation models were produced until 2000. The second-generation model, the SC 430, went into production in 2001. The SC 430 features a hardtop convertible design and a V8 engine. The first-generation SC was largely styled in California at Calty, and the second-generation SC was mainly conceived at design studios in Europe.

In Japan, the related third-generation Toyota Soarer, with which the first-generation SC originally shared body design and multiple components, featured a separate line-up of vehicle configurations and different powertrains. The fourth-generation Soarer sport coupe, largely identical to the SC 430, was superseded by its Lexus counterpart in Japan when the Lexus marque débuted there in 2005. The SC was the sole coupé in the Lexus lineup until the arrival of the IS C. According to Lexus, the SC designation stands for Sport Coupe.

First generation (Z30)

1991–2000

In the early 1990s, following the début of Lexus, automotive press reports indicated a forthcoming mid-size Lexus coupé to compete with the luxury coupés of other marques like Mercedes-Benz SL, Acura Legend coupe and Infiniti M30 coupe. At that point, Toyota had no genuine luxury coupés in its model range. A coupe would complement the successful Lexus flagship model, the V8-powered, rear-wheel drive LS 400 sedan. The coupé was going to be targeted towards the American market, and the development effort for its exterior design was handed over to the Calty Design Research center in California in 1987.

The American Calty design team took a different approach to designing the car, using plaster molding shapes to design the body, and working three-dimensionally instead of the traditional 2-D sketch approach. As described by design chiefs Denis Campbell and Erwin Lui, the result was a car that was based on "emotion and feeling" rather than linear aesthetics. The resulting design possessed almost no straight edges, and produced a drag coefficient of Cd=0.31. The production design concept by Lui was approved in 1989, resulting in Lui being sent back to Japan for 4 months to assist in completion of the production design. According to automotive journalist Bill Russ, the SC design was considered influential among automotive designs of the time.

Production of the Soarer started in April 1991 at the Motomachi plant in Toyota, Aichi, with the Lexus SC produced alongside the Soarer at a second Higashi Fuji plant at Susono, Shizuoka. Motomachi-sourced cars lasted until April 1997.

Second generation (Z40)

2001–2005

At the 1999 Tokyo Motor Show, Lexus displayed its Sport Coupe concept, a V8-powered convertible, signifying its plans for a replacement for the first-generation SC 300/400. The production version of its new sports coupe-convertible, the SC 430, debuted at the New York Auto Show in April 2000. The car was scheduled to go on sale in the second quarter of the following year. Power was provided by a 4.3 L 3UZ-FE V8 engine with variable valve timing (VVT-i) mated to a five-speed automatic transmission. This engine was the same model as that found in the UCF30 Lexus LS. The SC 430's V8 could produce 288 hp (214.76 kW) and 430 N·m (317 lb·ft) of torque, allowing the coupe to go from 0–60 mph in 6.2 seconds.

In contrast with the previous generation model, the redesigned Lexus SC was intended as a convertible from its inception. The development team was led by chief engineer Yasushi Nakagawa from 1996 to 2000. Lexus designers from Europe and Japan worked together to create a streamlined design. A design theme was chosen in 1997 developed by Sotiris Kovos, who in return was named chief designer. Led by Kovos, designers traveled to the Côte d'Azur to develop the vehicle's exterior shape, and studied the region's architecture, lifestyle, and harbors. The resulting convertible of 1998 received character lines similar to the region's yachts, in contrast with traditional waveform lines. The vehicle's side profile, the product of extensive wind tunnel testing, was intended to channel air around the passenger compartment at high speed during top-down driving. Design patents were filed in Japan, at the Japan Patent Office on 14 June 1999 under patent number 1095312.

2005–2010

In 2005 for the 2006 model year, the SC 430 was updated, with changes that included redesigned alloy wheels. In late 2005, the SC 430 premiered along with the Lexus marque in Japan; it was manufactured at the Kanji (Kanto Jidosha) assembly site in Japan. The SC 430 was sold in North America, Europe, Oceania, and Asia; unlike its predecessor, the SC 430 was officially imported to the British Isles; the old SC 400 had been a popular personal grey import.

In 2010, a final special edition model for Japan, the SC 430 Eternal Jewel edition, was produced, limited to 200 units. The 2010 model was the last automobile from any major manufacturer in the United States to ship with a cassette tape deck.

Production of the second-generation SC ended in July 2010 after nine years of production, but Lexus was still using them in the Super GT until the 2013 season ended.


Photographs

King of Europe: 2014, Round 3 (Lydden Hill) King of Europe: 2014 Round 3 (Lydden Hill)
Photo by Rowan Harrison
This photo is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 License.
View photo of King of Europe 2014, Round 3 (Lydden Hill) - 4.9MB
King of Europe: 2014, Round 3 (Lydden Hill) King of Europe: 2014 Round 3 (Lydden Hill)
Photo by Rowan Harrison
This photo is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 License.
View photo of King of Europe 2014, Round 3 (Lydden Hill) - 5.2MB
King of Europe: 2014, Round 3 (Lydden Hill) King of Europe: 2014 Round 3 (Lydden Hill)
Photo by Rowan Harrison
This photo is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 License.
View photo of King of Europe 2014, Round 3 (Lydden Hill) - 4.6MB


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