30 August 2004

Lexus' SC430 roadster, the premium Japanese marque's alternative to Mercedes' SL and Jaguar's XK8, gets its second major update this month. As of September 1, the folding-roofed two-seater benefits from improved cabin technology and all new chassis componentry.

Three years ago, when the SC430 was introduced, Autocar's road test concluded that it was a bold and brilliantly equipped Lexus 'let down by a poor chassis'; last year, the maker attempted to right the car's biggest fault with suspension tweaks. Now, it has added new monotube shock absorbers to the car's coil sprung, double wishbone setup in an attempt to finally rid the car of its jitters.

Inside the cabin, Toyota's luxury arm has also improved upon what was already a comprehensive specification. The maker's DVD Navigator system gets Electronic Traffic Avoidance, which monitors traffic information via the FM tuner, and both Bluetooth compatibility for wireless enabled mobile phones, and a voice recognition function, are added.

The SC430's list price has been adjusted slightly to reflect the additions; it now costs £52,385 (up from £51,095), complete with its comprehendsive catalogue of standard kit, articulated tin-top and metallic paint.

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