The latest incarnation of the Lexus SC series, better known in Japan as the Toyota Soarer 430SCV. The SC430, released in March 2001, is one bad mother of a sports car, and is a worthy successor to the legacy of the awesome Toyota Supra. The SC430 is created to slug it out with other "luxury sports" coupes such as the Infiniti G35, Audi TT, and Mercedes SLK 430, and does so rather well.

As its name implies (if you're familiar with typical naming schemes of cars), the rear wheel drive SC430 utilizes a big, bad 4.3-liter, all-aluminum DOHC V8 engine with Toyota's innovative VVT-i -- Variable Valve Timing with Intelligence, a main feature of the Soarer for over a decade -- producing a solid 300 horsepower @ 5600 rpm, yet still making the California Air Resources Board's harsh Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle standards. Features such as Vehicle Skid Control and a TRAC traction control system, teamed up with double wishbone independent suspension, electronic five-speed automatic transmission, and vented disc brakes on all four wheels with an anti-lock braking system create a stable, easy handling ride. Of course, it couldn't be a Lexus without luxury -- the SC430 provides, with a retractable hardtop, leather interior, heated front seats (ooh), six-disc CD changer, power windows and locks, electric mirrors, DVD navigation system and more.

Unfortunately, the SC430 is very expensive, to the majority of us anyway, starting at $62,600 USD -- an about equal competitor, Infiniti's G35, costs less than half, at $27,675.

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