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Hard as it may be to imagine from its dated styling, the Lexus SC430 was once considered to be a halo vehicle. Well, maybe not quite, but its folded hardtop self was enough to bring at least a few customers into showrooms. Today, that job belongs to the LFA supercar, but in between the two models there’s a gulf wide enough to fill with a few hundred million gallons of crude oil. (What, too soon?) Now, we wouldn’t go so far as to call the current SC a disaster, but suffice it to say it could use a replacement. Badly.
According to a new story from Motor Trend, that replacement is on the way, and looks like it could be worth the wait. Dubbed LC600h, the new two-door is reportedly slated to borrow its underpinnings from the next-generation LS flagship sedan. A folding hardtop is still expected to be part of the mix (as it has been on every convertible Lexus ever made), but don’t go dismissing this as a lump of mush: According to MT, an updated version of the LS600h sedan’s 5.0-liter hybrid V8 packing as much as – wait for it – 500 horsepower is slated to replace the SC’s lackluster 288-horsepower 4.3-liter. What’s more, it’s expected to drive all four wheels. That’s nearly twice as much power as the model it’s slated to replace, and what we around here call “progress.”
Try not to get too riled up, though, as MT’s sources don’t expect the LC to come along until after the next-gen LS sedan is introduced in 2014. And that’s assuming the economy and the fortunes of parent company Toyota cooperate enough for it to mount an assault on Mercedes SL territory.
[Source: Motor Trend]
It was rumored in January and now it’s been confirmed by Automobile Magazine: Lexus will kill its slow-selling SC430 this July and it will reportedly return in 2014 packing a hybrid electric drivetrain and a new V8.
Aside from a handful of special edition models, the SC430 has soldiered on largely unchanged for the better part of a decade, and with less the 1,000 SCs sold last year and a final run of around 300 slated to be built in 2010, its demise will likely go unnoticed save a few octogenarians that pick up a new Pebble Beach Edition each summer.
According to Automobile, the next generation SC is slated to arrive sometime in 2014, packing a 5.0-liter V8 and a hybrid drivetrain that should be good for 400-500 horsepower. The Lexus SC600h – as it’s tentatively dubbed – would be a fitting replacement to the SuperGT racer that’s been running in the Japanese touring car series for the last several years – unless Lexus decides the LFA is a more worthy combatant.