The Lexus IS series has been a great competitor to the likes of BMW’s 3-series and Audi’s A4. Still, when comparing its competitors, the Lexus was lacking in one department. That would be the "open air" department. That’s because unlike BMW and Audi, Lexus never built a convertible version of its popular IS sedan, until now.
Debuting at the 2008 Paris Auto Show, the Lexus IS 250C is the first attempt by Lexus to compete in the convertible category (not counting the expensive and slow-selling SC 430). Like current trends dictate, the IS 250C will have a convertible hardtop which effectively gives you a coupe when the top is up. Open to fully-closed takes about 20 seconds and is a feast of folding panels and glass which is quite entertaining to watch in operation.
This is effectively an all-new design with only the hood, headlamps, door handles and mirrors being shared with the sedan. Innovative and exclusive to this model is a one-touch power fold-and-slide feature on the front bucket seats. While European buyers will only get a 2.5-liter 208-hp V-6 as an engine option, U.S. buyers will have the additional option of upgrading to a 3.5-liter V-6. This would effectively make it an IS 350C, but whether it will be badged this way remains to be seen.
Source: Road And Track
Photo: John Lamm for Road And Track