Lexus SC 400

The Lexus SC 400 debuted on June 1, 1991 in the United States as a 1992 model. The SC 400's 4.0 L V8 engine was reported to have cost over a whopping $400,000,000 in research and development. Who said building an automobile was cheap? The Lexus SC is a personal luxury coupe sold by Lexus, the luxury division of Toyota. The SC features a front engine, rear-wheel drive design and seating for up to four passengers. The SC 400 was honored as the Motor Trend Import Car of the Year for 1992. It also made Car and Driver magazine's Ten Best list for 1992 through 1998. Owing to its advanced design, the first generation SC lasted in production until July 7, 2000, a span of over 9 years, which is really a long time for Lexus to leave a model untouched. This production cycle was quite long compared to the average car of the 1990s, which was being redesigned every 3-4 years to keep up with the changing styling of automobiles. Even with the SC's long production cycle, only minor exterior changes were ever made. New tail lighting and a modified spoiler design were part of the mid-cycle vehicle refresh and a front grille was added in 1997 to provide increased airflow into the engine. The original 1991-92 engines were rated at 225 HP for the SC 300 and 250 HP for the SC 400. In 1996, the SC 400's engine design was upgraded to 260 hp from 250 hp. Also, in 1998, both the SC 300 and 400 were upgraded with VVT-i and thus the ratings were raised to 290 hp for the SC 400 and 225 hp for the SC 300. Tests conducted on the new engines showed for the SC 400 a 0-60 mph acceleration time of 6.0 seconds, and for the SC 300 a 0-60 mph acceleration time of 7.5 seconds. These first generation SC coupes were flying off the assembly line at Toyota's Higashifuji Technical Center in Motomatchi, Japan.