2009 Lexus SC430 Pebble Beach Edition – Click above for high-res image gallery

While the Lexus IS C is enjoying strong early sales and the luxury Toyota marque prepares to launch a version with the 5.0-liter V8 from the IS F, the top-of-the-line SC 430 grows increasingly irrelevant and long-in-the-tooth. However, contrary to reports that surfaced this time last year – 'tis the season for convertibles, after all – Lexus is indeed planning a successor to the range-topping coupe-cabrio.

Reports indicate that, far from the IS C replacing the aging SC 430, a clean-slate successor to the big roadster is in the planning stages. Because the SC has been around so long, Toyota's designers and engineers are reportedly going back to the drawing board. What they're apparently coming up with eschews the current model's complex folding hard top – one of the first on the market after the Mitsubishi 3000GT VR4 Spyder and Mercedes SLK – in favor of a simpler, lighter folding soft top.

With a new SC 430, an IS F convertible and a potential LF-A roadster all in the pipeline, the forecast looks sunny for Lexus.

[Source: Car and Driver]