While the big story upon introduction was the new retractable hardtop, the sleek grand tourer from Lexus is more than just an open-top cruiser. Under the hood is the excellent Lexus 4.3-liter V8, which produces ample power and torque while remaining (even for a Lexus) remarkably smooth and refined. Not to say that acceleration is sedate—in fact, the big coupe is properly quick, reaching 60 mph in about six seconds, with just enough of the burbly exhaust note reaching into the luxurious cabin to remind you that all 300 horsepower are available at the touch of the throttle. While the smooth lines, penned in Lexus’ European design studios, would look at home in any French Riviera resort town, they also are remarkably slippery, allowing the SC430 to easily slice through the air at great speeds. While the liberal use of aluminum in the structure keeps the weight down, it’s still a large car, and so it’s a credit to Lexus’ engineers that the SC430 handles as well as it does. Faster than many of its rivals, the Lexus SC430 is full of surprises.