2010 Lexus IS 250C and IS 350C Test Drive: Convertible Lexus Has World’s…

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2010 Lexus IS 250C and IS Test Drive: Convertible Has World’s Fastest Folding

October 1, 2009 12:00 AM

BEACH, Calif. With the convertible Lexus SC430 showing its age, and luxury jumping one by one to release entry-level convertibles, Lexus has made the to chop the top (and two doors) its popular IS sedan. But this is than a simple hardtop job: The chassis has been for topless duty, and unlike manufacturers, the segment’s fastest hardtop has been designed by Lexus. James Tate


Lexus is proud of its latest hardtop, and for good reason. The unit performs a ballet of wizardry in about 20 secondsa that makes this top the three-piece in the land, according to The company completely reconstructed the IS to accommodate that top, the car by 2.25 inches and creating body panels. Despite the similarities, the only thing the IS Cs share with their brethren is a hood.

Body panels aren’t the things that separate the from the more common Despite having half the of their more reserved the IS Cs reportedly weigh around 380 more. And all those extra have seemingly congregated in the of the car, causing it to suffer the kind of bulbous tail competitors like the Infiniti G have somehow managed to Fortunately, the front of the IS C is still as as the rest of the Lexus lineup.

The IS convertible is powered by the same of direct-injection V6s found in its fixed-roof a 2.5-liter producing 204 hp and 185 lb-ft of and a 3.5-liter with a far healthier 305 hp and 277 of torque. For the one or two buyers who will one, there is a six-speed available on the 250, but the automatic account for the majority of salesespecially as the only option on the IS 350C. shifters inside are happy to the illusion of a quick-shifting speed but without the rev-matched trickery of the IS F.

both cars benefit an array of technological wonders to the cabin comfortable, whether the up or down. Both the audio and the A/C automatically to handle temperature and noise variations. There’s a amount of room in the back Lexus has also offered up its of F-Sport goodies for the IS Cs, though we trouble imagining Lexus installing accessories like the brake package.


The Drive

With a 0-60 of 8.4 seconds, the 250’s 2.5-liter V6 has a time creating any real especially compared with the Even uphill stretches the 250 winded, and us wondering if the decision to the 2.5-liter engine underhood was a one. Fortunately, the same is not for the IS 350C. The additional 100 hp slingshots the forward with ease at any worth the extra coin. But with the larger engine and the weight does creep its way into the picture, with a end that has a slight tendency to bob and above-average brake effort hard stops. Initial input is quick, but lacks once you’ve settled the corners. Optional F-Sport goodies equipped on our tester performance and handling sharpness but seem to conflict with the casual nature of the topless IS.

Ultimately, the IS C lacks the overall of the competition and its four-door brethren. off the feverish pace just though, and the IS C rewards with comfort and sophistication at more speeds. As with the sedan, is well formed and supple, by technological gadgetry that adjusts in accordance with the environment.

The Bottom Line

Both the Lexus IS 250C and the IS 350C be available in June of this With prices at around for the 250C and $43,940 for the 350C $875 destination), it’s Lexus is gunning for the likes of the G Convertible and BMW’s 3 Series. If a ride to the mall is a greater than tearing up the back the IS C is definitely worth a look. And all, the C doesn’t just for convertible. Top up, the new two-door IS forms a coupe, leaving behind evidence of its windblown alter


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