Move over CLK Cabriolet and 3-Series Convertible, there’s a new player in the luxury drop-top game and it ain’t a German. Lexus debuted its new IS 250C hard top convertible at the Paris Motor Show and has followed up with an Asia Pacific unveiling in Sydney. With its attractive top-down aesthetics, aluminium folding roof and two-door appeal, the IS 250C should be just the thing to spice up Lexus’s ageing IS lineup.
Going on sale in Japan around March 2009, with Europe and the USA following shortly after, the IS 250C boasts a significant number of revisions over the four door IS sedan to help accommodate that power-retractable roof, which folds out of sight in an impressive 20 seconds.
The chassis has come in for some significant strengthening to deal with now roofless body and to keep things squeak-free when traversing broken tarmac and expansion gaps. There’s also a tweaked climate control system that blows hotter when the top is down, while a 12-speaker Mark Levinson sound system helps drown out any wind noise.
Bodywork, of course, is virtually all-new for the IS 250C. Only the bonnet, headlamps, door handles and mirrors are shared between the convertible and its more reserved four-door sibling. Considering that two doors and a roof have been lopped off to produce the IS 250C, the visual difference is not that great between the two. Good for Lexus aficionados perhaps, but not so good for appealing to a more diverse crowd (ie: people under the age of 40).