2010 Lexus IS 250 Convertible Preview

Jeff Youngs | Dec 31, 2009
FAST FACTS
  • All-new model for 2010
  • Based on forthcoming 2-door coupe
  • First convertible IS model
  • Three-piece aluminum retractable hardtop
  • Standard 2.5-liter V-6 engine
  • 6-speed automatic transmission
  • Rear-wheel drive
  • Arriving in showrooms late summer 2009

Introduction

The Lexus IS Sedan first debuted in 2001. Although it was the smallest model in the Lexus lineup, its strong 3.0-liter inline 6-cylinder engine, sporty exterior styling, and unique chronograph-styled dashboard made it popular among those looking for an entry-level compact luxury vehicle. The second generation debuted in 2006. Completely redesigned, the new IS model had grown in dimensions and the unique chrono-look dash had been replaced by a more traditional gauge cluster. The inline-6 engine had been replaced by two new V-6 powerplants (2.5 liters and 3.5 liters) and all-wheel drive became optional on the IS 250 model for the first time. In 2008, Lexus introduced a . The high-performance rear-wheel-drive sedan was designed to compete head-to-head with the BMW M3, Audi RS4, and .

Making its debut at the 2008 Paris Motor Show is an all-new, 2-door convertible IS model. According to Lexus, ".the IS 250C combines the sporting elegance of the IS sedan with superlative engineering ingenuity to create a unique fusion of top-down driving pleasure and uncompromised closed-top dynamic performance." Like most other convertibles in this segment, the IS 250C boasts a retractable hardtop roof. The aluminum 3-piece top is fully-automatic in operation. According to Lexus, it opens in just 20 seconds-the fastest on the market. Lexus engineers worked to ensure the compact roof didn't intrude on passenger or cargo space. As such, the IS 250C retains a large trunk area (it can accommodate a golf bag in the trunk with the top down, Lexus says), and rear-seat accommodations designed for adults. The 2010 Lexus IS 250C is expected to arrive in U.S. showrooms in the summer of 2009.

Hardware

The all-new Lexus IS 250C shares its engine with the current IS 250 sedan. The familiar 2.5-liter V-6 engine is rated at 204 hp with 185 lb.-ft. of torque. The standard transmission is a 6-speed automatic sending power to the rear wheels (unlike the IS 250 sedan, the IS 250C will not be available with all-wheel drive).
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