• 2010 Lexus IS250 and IS350 Convertible

LISTEN 34:10

When Lexus unveiled the IS C in 2008 at the Paris Motor Show they had in mind models like Audi A5 Cabrio, BMW 3-series Convertible, but also Volvo C70. And it seems they desire was a success, as the model easily combines the award-winning design of the IS sports saloon with outstanding open-top engineering ingenuity.

The IS Convertible is offered in two different versions: IS250 and IS350. The IS250C is powered by the same engine as the sedan version: the 2.5-liter V6 delivering 205 hp. The engine is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. The IS350 is powered by a 3,6 liter V6 engine that delivers a total of 306 hp.

The IS 250C uses the front double wishbone and multink rear suspension format from the IS sedan range to give, which means it should have the same spirited drive as the sedan. Lexus says there are significant chassis revisions to handle the structural differences that comes with the loss of the roof.

The 2010 IS250C has a MSRP of $39,440 when equipped with a six-speed manual transmission; the IS250C with a six-speed automatic transmission will be $40,610. The IS350C will have a MSRP of $44,890.

UPDATE 08/19/2010: Check out our review of the IS250C by clicking here!

Press release after the jump.

Press release

The new Lexus IS 250C makes its world debut today at the Paris motor show, ahead of going on sale across Europe during the summer of 2009. The new model combines the award-winning design of the IS sports saloon with outstanding open-top engineering ingenuity.

The IS 250C displays Lexus quality and attention to detail in every aspect of its construction and is designed to exceed customer expectations with its fusion of top-down driving pleasure and uncompromised dynamic performance.

It also boasts the fastest opening time for a three-part roof design, with its lightweight aluminium structure folding away in just 20 seconds.

2.5 liters V6, 204hp at 6,400 rpm and 185 lb-ft of torque at 4,800 rpm

The IS 250C shares its smooth 205bhp (208 DIN hp) 2.5-litre petrol V6 engine and six-speed automatic transmission with the IS 250 saloon. It has been styled to offer minimal wind turbulence when driving with the top down and extensive revisions to the body structure and suspension provide the right degree of torsional stiffness to ensure a level of ride comfort appropriate for a Lexus. In coupe trim, the car’s low NVH performance is on a par with that of the IS saloon.

Thanks to the remarkably compact packaging of the three-part roof mechanism, there is a large boot space, together with easy rear seat access and generous accommodation for rear passengers.

The new coupe/convertible is the third model in the IS range, joining the IS petrol and diesel-powered sports saloon and the ultra-high performance 5.0-litre V8-powered IS F, which introduced the F Sports designation to the line-up earlier this year.


2010 Lexus IS250 and IS350 Convertible
- image 301121

The IS 250 C builds on the elegant proportions, sweeping, sculptural lines and contrasting convex and concave surfacing of the IS saloon range to combine the muscular appeal of a sports coupe with the stylish lines of a convertible.

Only the bonnet, headlamps, door handles and mirrors are shared with the IS saloon, all other body panels have been redesigned to ensure they harmonise perfectly with the three-part folding roof.

A new fog lamp design is neatly integrated into the deep front air dam and, in side profile, the coupe/convertible’s powerful stance is characterised by muscular coachwork below a pronounced, rising belt line that kicks up towards the rear of the car.

The steeply raked windscreen flows seamlessly into the aerodynamic arc of the roof line. This meets the surface of the boot with a crisp C-pillar that is incorporated in the roof structure. In coupe form the cabin tapers to the rear to give a flowing line from the roof through the C pillar to the luggage compartment. At the rear there are new lamp clusters with LED illumination and a high-mounted LED stop light integrated in the boot lip spoiler.

With the hard top down, the IS 250C has a seamless and elegant profile that is punctuated only by an integral roll-over hoop behind the rear seat headrests. No roof mechanism elements remain in view or project above the car’s waistline, with the complete structure concealed beneath the boot surface and flush-fitting rear parcel shelf.

The roof is made entirely of lightweight aluminium and gives an unparalleled smooth, seamless and silent operation. It is raised and lowered by means of a dashboard button and features a unique “roof brake” mechanism, which slows the closing of the hard top as it approaches the top edge of the windscreen. Unlike other systems in which the weight of the roof causes the closing speed to increase just before the point of closure, it descends smoothly into place.


2010 Lexus IS250 and IS350 Convertible
- image 266394

The IS 250C offers the same high levels of luxury and practical innovation as the IS saloon, with a number of bespoke technical revisions designed to ensure the on-board comfort and entertainment systems operate effectively when the roof is down.

The instrument panel, surrounding elements and the steering wheel are the same as on the IS saloon, but the instrument binnacle in front of the driver has been extensively revised to ensure good visibility is maintained during top-down driving.

The climate control system has been configured for top-down motoring, with the addition of speed sensitive control, which automatically increases air flow when the roof is lowered and further increases it in line with vehicle speed.

The 12-speaker Mark Levinson Premium Surround Sound system features equaliser tuning to ensure consistent audio quality whether the roof is up or down, automatically adapting to the natural loss of bass when the roof is stowed. The two full-size rear seats are set 30mm further inboard to optimise headroom and are divided by a centre console with built-in cupholders. Slimmer profiles for the front seats help ensure good legroom for rear passengers.

Accessing the rear seats is made easier by wide-aperture doors that are 300mm longer than those on the IS saloon and a one-touch walk-in button control that quickly and neatly folds and slides the front seats forwards.

The rear overhang is greater by 50mm compared to the saloon. This, together with the exceptionally compact packaging of the folding roof, gives significantly more luggage space, with room for a nine-inch golf bag to be carried with the hard top stowed and the luggage cover in place.


2010 Lexus IS250 and IS350 Convertible
- image 301185

The IS 250C has been designed to combine the lowest possible drag coefficient with minimal wind turbulence affecting the cabin when the roof is down. Key features include a steeply raked windscreen, ultra-smooth cabin profile, aerodynamically efficient “duck tail” rear styling that gives an “airkick” effect, detail rear lamp cluster design and a an array of underbody covers. With the hard top in place the drag coefficient is 0.29, which compares very favourably with the 0.27 Cd of the saloon.

Lexus design engineers focused on reducing wind turbulence and generating the most comfortable airflow pattern for passengers when the roof is lowered. The angle of the windscreen and its top edge are major factors in achieving this performance.


2010 Lexus IS250 and IS350 Convertible
- image 301150

The IS 250C uses the proven front double wishbone and multink rear suspension format from the IS saloon range to give sporting, agile performance. Significant chassis revisions promote greater ride comfort suitable for a convertible and ensure consistent dynamic performance in both coupe and convertible guise.

Extensive temperature, vibration and shaking tests were carried out to ensure the changes to the bodyshell and chassis maintain NVH characteristics almost identical to those of the IS saloon. Class-leading low wind noise levels are achieved with help from acoustic glass for the windscreen and painstaking design of the roof, door and window panel seals.


The IS 250C has been designed to achieve a five-star frontal impact rating in Euro NCAP crash testing, with world-class safety performance in both coupe and convertible configuration. Numerous changes in the body structure enhance collision strength, roll-over protection and torsional rigidity, minimising cowl shake and optimising chassis control.

Like the IS saloon, it benefits from the highest content of sophisticated active and passive safety technology in its segment, including Lexus’s Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Control (VDIM), incorporating Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) that is tuned specifically for open-body driving and which gives shorter stopping distances on road surfaces with uneven levels of grip. A revised Pre-Crash Safety (PCS) system is also available, supporting pre-crash seatbelt and braking functions, and the passenger front airbag has a twin-chamber design for safer and more effective operation.

For added protection when driving with the roof down, the IS 250C is equipped with new-design larger side airbags that provide head protection in the event of a side impact. The bodyshell also features additional energy-absorbing side impact pads for both front and rear seat occupants.

Sophisticated Retractable Hardtop Convertible

2010 Lexus IS250 and IS350 Convertible
- image 301132

The IS250C and IS350C represent Lexus’ second convertible and its first since the debut of the SC430 in 2001. Featuring a convenient single-switch operation, the new three-piece hard top provides open-air freedom with the top down without sacrificing the quiet and comfort of a coupe. Constructed primarily of lightweight aluminum, the hard top also provides surprising storage space but with low noise and increased security not typically found in soft-top convertibles. In addition, the top completely retracts with no elements remaining in view.

The Four-link roof assembly, also made of aluminum for a lightweight design, provides smooth even movement. Engineered to operate in an easy, efficient manner, each component is motor driven with detection switches, allowing the control unit to know their exact position at all times. In addition to the two main roof panels being constructed of light-weight aluminum, the back window’s reinforced glass construction also lends itself to reduced weight. Weather-strip changes in areas around the doors and windows ensure tight seals.

A roof-speed brake-control system decreases the roof speed especially as it approaches the end of the closing operation in either direction, ensuring an elegant and quiet movement. On models equipped with available Intuitive Park Assist (IPA), sonar sensors in the rear bumper will stop the movement of the luggage door at the start of operation if it detects an obstacle will interfere. Also, a visual warning will appear on the instrument panel if a detected obstacle may soon interfere with top operation.

When the IS convertible’s top is opened or closed, the power windows will automatically lower if in the closed position, and raise back up when the operating switch is held. Also, when the top is up, the door windows automatically lower 15 mm when the door opens, and then raise back into a fully closed position when the door closes. This ensures the doors’ clean open/close function while also maintaining a tight seal around the glass. The aluminum hard top features an automatic front lock assembly that provides the interior security not found in soft-top convertibles. When the top is stowed in the down position in the rear of the IS convertible, the lock assembly is engaged to kept the panel in a fixed, stable position.

Convertible Aerodynamics

2010 Lexus IS250 and IS350 Convertible
- image 301177

The IS convertible has a best-in-class 0.29 drag coefficient (Cd). This is accomplished with the help of underbody covers below the engine (with aerodynamic steps), the full floor, and fuel-tank covers, as well as s rear-floor diffuser with vertical fin and airfoil. Other areas that contribute to the low Cd include the design shape of the outer mirrors, high-mount stop lamps, and the rear tailamps. Fender fairings before the front and rear tires reduce airflow into the wheel house, improving aero characteristics and reducing air turbulence.

The IS convertible’s air conditioning system automatically adjusts for the outside temperature when the top is lowered, improving interior temperature consistency and comfort. The system adjusts the air outlets, temperature and air flow exiting the outlets. The airflow volume adjusts to outside temperature and vehicle speed, while the temperature control adjusts to outside temperature, amount of sunlight and vehicle speed. The system also includes a pollen filter and variable-control compressor.

Convertible Body Rigidity

2010 Lexus IS250 and IS350 Convertible
- image 301159

The IS convertible’s body structure has excellent rigidity and strength, achieved by effective structural changes and additions to the existing IS sedan platform. Additional bracing was implemented to help provide excellent handling control, ride comfort and body durability while also minimizing weight gain.

Areas that received modifications or additions include the rocker area; A and B pillar under structure; side collision crossmember, and upper and rear-floor crossmembers. In addition, underfloor braces were added both in the front and the rear.

The transformation to a convertible also required reevaluation of noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) characteristics in order to meet Lexus standards. All body and chassis revisions have gone through extensive testing to ensure that the IS250C and IS350C have nearly identical NVH characteristics as the IS sedans. High-rigidity damping materials and asphalt sheets have been added to minimize vibration effects. Redesigned rear-suspension-mount bushings help reduce noise and vibration associated with the changes in body characteristics from a sedan to a convertible. Additional sound absorption and insulation materials have been optimally positioned to create a quiet, comfortable cabin.

Dual-Mode Redesign

The IS250C and IS350C’s new exterior design has its lineage in the IS sedan but possesses its own dynamic styling, including unique characteristics when interchanging between convertible and coupe configurations. With the exception of the hood, all other body panels have been redesigned to blend seamlessly with the new three-panel folding roof.

The convex shoulder lines distinguish the convertible’s profile, while the top-up configuration provides a sweeping cabin silhouette. With the top down, the belt-line draws up around the rear deck lid, providing a muscular look.

In the front, hood lines flow into a unique chrome grille shape, then continue down into an air inlet before flowing outward past the more distinctive elliptical fog-lamp design.

The rear view features a clean, continuous design, with flowing bumper corners and a strong bumper shape that flows inward towards the exhaust. All-new combination tail-lamp clusters feature LED lights and two distinct horizontal lines that emphasize breadth, while the LED brake light integrated within the standard rear spoiler imparts a sporty impression.

The IS convertible features two new wheels unique from the IS sedan line up. Standard 17-inch wheels utilize two multi-layered five-spoke patterns for a contemporary 10-spoke design with a clean liquid-graphite finish. Optional 18-inch wheels have an athletic five-spoke design with asymmetrical changes in shape and a liquid-graphite finish. Both feature the tire-pressure warning system found on the sedan models. In addition to standard all-season tires, an optional run-flat tire is available either with or without a spare, adding to the available luggage space.

Five colors common with the IS sedan are available on the convertible, ultrasonic blue is shared with the ISF, and Cerulean Blue is an all-new color exclusive to the IS C. Like the sedans, additional wet sanding is applied in mid-coat application to provide a premium finish.

Unique Interior Look

2010 Lexus IS250 and IS350 Convertible
- image 301190

The IS convertible interior maintains the luxury touch points associated with the IS sport sedans, while new comfort and entertainment features provide a consistent atmosphere regardless of top configuration. Special attention was given to providing an attractive interior design when viewing the convertible externally. The door and side trim is fashioned to create continuity and continuous flow from front to back.

A four-seat configuration provides each passenger with their own comfort space, and the rear-seat console enhances the rear-passenger amenities with cup holders and storage. Soft padding on the sides of the console and the outer trim areas improve comfort. The rear headrests are retractable for improved visibility and the lever can easily be accessed from the rear console or from the driver’s seat. Rear-seat comfort is enhanced by shifting seat position inboard, providing for sizeable headroom.

Eight-way adjustable power front seats, including power lumbar support are standard, and the available heated/ventilated function has increased heating range to include the shoulder areas and increases airflow in ventilation function. Front-seat backs are scaled inward, and slim, leather seat-back pockets help to maximize rear-seat legroom.

The gauge cluster is similar to that of the IS sedan, some additions on the IS convertible add style and function. A higher-contrast multi-information LCD, dial-color change for more contrast, and decreased surface-glass transmittance all enhance visibility when the top is down. The multi-information display also includes status of the hardtop while in transformation, providing a bar graph showing its progress. It also displays a warning to inform the driver if the roof is not completely open/closed, a rear obstacle may impede proper open/close operation, or if the open/close function is not available while the vehicle is in motion. Metallic trim around the two main gauges contribute to a premium look.

The interior adopts recycled materials in 13 various areas including door and side trim. The IS convertible will have three interior trim color options, including two new color combinations. In addition to black leather interior, a new alabaster color is joined by a distinctive alabaster/blue contrast trim.

Dynamic Driving Performance

2010 Lexus IS250 and IS350 Convertible
- image 301152

The IS250C and IS350C provide a consistent blend of driving performance and comfort in either convertible or coupe configuration. They share common double-wishbone front and multi-link rear suspension systems with the IS sport sedan models.

The double-wishbone front suspension received a number of changes to provide the handling stability and ride comfort required for a convertible. The torsional rigidity of the suspension bushings was optimized, as was the spring constant on the coil springs, and the shock absorber damping force. The stabilizer shape and the Electric Power Steering (EPS) gear ratio were also revised to help provide improved control.

The multi-link rear suspension also received similar changes to suspension bushings, coil springs and shock-damping force. In addition, the rear-suspension tower was lowered with enhanced rigidity to help provide rear control and linear yaw response; it also provides improved trunk space.

Performance Oriented Drivetrains

2010 Lexus IS250 and IS350 Convertible
- image 301172

The IS convertible models feature the same powertrains as the IS sedans. The IS 350C’s 3.5-liter V6 delivers exhilarating performance with outstanding 306 horsepower at 6,400 RPM along with 277 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,800 rpm. The IS 250C’s 2.5-liter V6 engine has a great combination of fuel efficiency and performance. The IS 250C’s V6 produces 204 horsepower at 6,400 RPM and 185 lb.-ft. of peak torque at 4,800 rpm. Both engines utilize aluminum cylinder blocks and heads, while employing dual Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i), which controls timing on both the intake and exhaust camshafts.

A direct-type fuel-injection system provides a cooling effect in the cylinders, enabling the high compression needed to extract maximum energy from the fuel. Aside from its larger displacement, the 3.5-liter V6 differs chiefly in that it augments the direct fuel injection with port fuel injectors. In light- and medium-load conditions, these additional injectors help produce a precise burn, increasing power and efficiency, while reducing emissions. A dual exhaust system reduces backpressure at higher engine speeds. Like IS sedans, the IS250C and IS350C meet the Ultra-Low Emission Vehicle II (ULEV II) certification.

An advanced six-speed automatic transmission with steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters is standard on the IS 350. The IS 250 comes with either a six-speed manual transmission or the paddle-shift, six-speed automatic transmission.

Easy Access Utility & Comfort

2010 Lexus IS250 and IS350 Convertible
- image 266390

The new IS convertible emphasizes easy access and rear-seat comfort. In addition to front doors that are 11.8 inches longer than the IS sedans, two convenient fold-forward lock-release levers are standard on both sides of the front passenger seats, making it easier to operate from any location inside the vehicle. In addition, the passenger seat features a power slide button on the top of the seatback to ease rear seat ingress/egress.
An available new automatic one-touch, easy-entry power-seat mechanism provides even easier egress and ingress through quick-acting, front-seat fold-and-slide activation. The two passenger doors also have three open-stopping positions (rather than the normal two) to add convenience in various parking situations with different spacing between vehicles. The IS C also is equipped with a standard power tilt and telescoping steering column to help the driver quickly get into a comfortable position.

The optional Intuitive Park Assist (IPA) system uses ultrasonic sensors to detect objects close to the car’s front and rear bumpers, alerting the driver and showing distance to objects in the multi-information display within the speedometer. When any IS model is also equipped with the optional navigation system, information on objects detected in the rear are shown in greater detail on that system’s seven-inch display via the backup camera.

The optional Pre-Collision System (PCS) is packaged with Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, which uses millimeter-wave radar to measure and help maintain a set distance from a vehicle traveling ahead. PCS relies on the radar sensor to detect obstacles in front of the car, and a PCS computer with sensor inputs from vehicle speed, steering angle and yaw rate is designed to determine whether a collision is unavoidable. In such a situation, PCS alerts the driver via sound and visual warnings while preemptively retracting front seat belts and pre-initializing Brake Assist so that increased braking will be applied the instant the driver depresses the pedal.

Standard Hill-start Assist Control helps prevent the vehicle from moving backward when the driver moves their foot from brake pedal to the accelerator. The system will also be available for the first time with the manual transmission.

The standard Lexus Premium Audio System features a six-disc, in-dash CD changer, and eight speakers. An equalizer system maintains the same acoustic field when the top is either open or closed, compensating for the natural loss of bass sounds when open. In addition to the 1/8th-inch audio mini jack on the IS sedan, the IS convertible will also have a standard USB connector in the center console for interface with an iPod® that will not only play the music on the device, it will display information on the navigation screen such as artist, album and song track.

Bluetooth® Audio wireless connectivity is another new feature available for those customers with compatible devices. Standard XM® satellite radio (subscription required) offers a wide variety of programming, while standard hands-free voice recognition and Bluetooth® technology for models without optional navigation allow phone calls to be made and received while driving.

Lexus’ latest Hard-Disk Drive (HDD) navigation system, with a new set-up display and increased audio-display tabs, is available on the IS convertible and is complete with a seven-inch VGA touch-screen, back-up camera, and XM® NavTraffic and NavWeather (subscription required). The navigation system also includes as standard on all navigation-equipped IS convertibles Lexus’ latest voice recognition system, Voice Command, which builds upon the previous-generation system’s functionality, adding more spoken-command flexibility. With Voice Command users avoid having to speak commands in a specific order (e.g., “Phone > Dial by Name > Dial Bob”).

3.5 liters V6, 306 hp at 6,400 rpm and 277 lb-ft of torque at 4,800 rpm

Now this same task can be completed simply by saying, “Call Bob at home.” The Voice Command system also works to control many functions of the audio system, heating and air conditioning, and the navigation system. Commands such as, “Make it cooler,” “Let’s find XM channel 46,” “Show me Japanese restaurants,” and “I need a gas station,” make tasks easier to accomplish, in fewer steps, and help allow drivers to focus more on the road ahead.
A Mark Levinson® Premium Surround Sound Audio system, exclusive to Lexus, is available in conjunction with the optional navigation system. This 12-speaker audio system features discrete 5.1 multi-channel playback with 5.1-channel speaker architecture. Its 10 amplifier channels provide 270 watts total output at 0.1 percent total harmonic distortion (THD). From 20-20,000hz, the Mark Levinson system plays conventional CDs and specially encoded DVD audio and DVD video discs, plus MP3/WMA-formatted CD-R/RW and DVD-R/RW. DVD movies can be viewed on the optional navigation system’s seven-inch color touch screen when the parking brake is engaged.

Lexus Safety & Security

2010 Lexus IS250 and IS350 Convertible
- image 301133

Standard Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management System (VDIM) governs all of the vehicle’s dynamic handling systems – the Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Brake Assist, Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) and Traction Control (TRAC) – employing them collectively and seamlessly to make corrections while helping provide higher dynamic capability. VDIM also interfaces with the electronic throttle control system.

The IS convertible features large, ventilated four-wheel disc brakes with Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist. The IS350C is equipped with 13.15-inch front and 12.20-inch rear rotors with aluminum four-piston front calipers to aid in heat dissipation and stopping power and reduce unsprung weight. The IS250C has 11.65-inch front and 12.20-inch rear rotors.

Passive-safety technology begins with a number of body-structure changes integrated in the IS250C and IS350C to help augment strength and torsional rigidity. Seatbelt pre-tensioners and force limiters are used for the front seats, while the rear seats adopt emergency locking retractor seatbelts with an automatic locking retractor.

In addition to the dual-front airbags, the Lexus Supplemental Restraint System (SRS) for the IS convertible includes new enlarged front-seat-mounted head and torso side airbags, and knee airbags for both the driver and the front passenger. The front-passenger airbag features two chambers, creating an indentation in the center impact area that helps to provide overall occupant protection.

The available High Intensity Discharge (HID) headlamps paired with the Adaptive Front-lighting System (AFS) helps to illuminate a curve as the driver steers into it.

The standard SmartAccess keyless entry and push-button-start/stop allows the driver to keep the access key FOB in a pocket or purse. The standard HomeLink® programmable garage door opener also operates home security devices and other systems.

2010 Lexus IS250 and IS350 Convertible
- image 301176


Engine IS 350C IS 250C IS 250C Manual
Type 60o V6, aluminum block and heads 60o V6, aluminum block and heads 60o V6, aluminum block and heads
Displacement 3.5 liters (210 cubic inches) 2.5 liters (152 cubic inches) 2.5 liters (152 cubic inches)
Valvetrain Four cam, four valves per cylinder, with dual Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i) Four cam, four valves per cylinder, with dual Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i) Four cam, four valves per cylinder, with dual Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i)
Compression Ratio 11.8:1 12.0:1 12.0:1
Horsepower at RPM 306 @ 6,400 204 @ 6,400 204 @ 6,400
Torque at RPM 277 lb-ft @ 4,800 185 lb-ft @ 4,800 185 lb-ft @ 4,800
Emission Rating Certified Ultra-Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV II) Certified Ultra-Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV II) Certified Ultra-Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV II)
2010 Lexus IS250 and IS350 Convertible
- image 301178
Performance IS 350C IS 250C IS 250C Manual
0-60 MPH Acceleration 5.8 seconds 8.4 seconds 8.4 seconds
1/4 Mile Acceleration 14.1 seconds 16.4 seconds 16.5 seconds
Top Track Speed (electronically limited) 141 mph 131 mph 134 mph
EPA Fuel Economy Ratings (city/highway/combined) 18/25/20 mpg 21/29/24 mpg 18/26/21 mpg
Aerodynamic Drag Coefficient 0.29 0.29 0.29
Turning Circle 33.5 ft 33.5 ft 33.5 ft
Drivetrain IS 350C IS 250C IS 250C Manual
Transmission Six-speed paddle-shift-sequential automatic Electronically Controlled Transmission with intelligence (ECT-i) Six-speed paddle-shift-sequential automatic Electronically Controlled Transmission with intelligence (ECT-i) Six-speed manual transmission
Drive Wheels Rear-wheel drive Rear-wheel drive Rear-wheel drive
Final Drive Ratio 4.083:1 3.909:1 3.727:1
Chassis IS 350C IS 250C IS 250C Manual
Suspension (front) Independent, double-wishbone with coil springs, monotube gas-pressurized shock absorbers and hollow stabilizer bar Independent, double-wishbone with coil springs, monotube gas-pressurized shock absorbers and hollow stabilizer bar Independent, double-wishbone with coil springs, monotube gas-pressurized shock absorbers and hollow stabilizer bar
Suspension (Rear) Independent, multi-link with coil springs, inverted monotube gas-pressurized shock absorbers and stabilizer bar Independent, multi-link with coil springs, inverted monotube gas-pressurized shock absorbers and stabilizer bar Independent, multi-link with coil springs, inverted monotube gas-pressurized shock absorbers and stabilizer bar
Steering Electronic Power Steering (EPS) system. 3.2 turns lock to lock Electronic Power Steering (EPS) system. 3.2 turns lock to lock Electronic Power Steering (EPS) system. 3.2 turns lock to lock
Brakes Four-wheel power-assisted discs, four-sensor, four-channel Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist [6] and four-piston front calipers Four-wheel power-assisted discs, four-sensor, four-channel Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist [6] and four-piston front calipers Four-wheel power-assisted discs, four-sensor, four-channel Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist [6] and four-piston front calipers
Brake Size Four-piston front calipers. 13.1-in front, 12.2-in rear ventilated discs Two-piston front calipers. 11.6-in front, 12.2-in rear ventilated discs Two-piston front calipers. 11.6-in front, 12.2-in rear ventilated discs
Wheels and Tires 17 x 8.0-in 10-spoke alloy wheels with 225/45VR17 all-season tires front, 245/45VR17 all-season tires rear 17 x 8.0-in 10-spoke alloy wheels with 225/45VR17 all-season tires front, 245/45VR17 all-season tires rear 17 x 8.0-in 10-spoke alloy wheels with 225/45VR17 all-season tires front, 245/45VR17 all-season tires rear
2010 Lexus IS250 and IS350 Convertible
- image 301149
Body / Dimensions IS 350C IS 250C IS 250C Manual
Type Four-passenger retractable hardtop luxury sport sedan Four-passenger retractable hardtop luxury sport sedan Four-passenger retractable hardtop luxury sport sedan
Construction Welded-steel unibody Welded-steel unibody Welded-steel unibody
Overall Length 182.5 in (4,635 mm) 182.5 in (4,635 mm) 182.5 in (4,635 mm)
Width 70.9 in (1,800 mm) 70.9 in (1,800 mm) 70.9 in (1,800 mm)
Height 55.7 in (1,415 mm) 55.7 in (1,415 mm) 55.7 in (1,415 mm)
Wheelbase 107.5 in (2,730 mm) 107.5 in (2,730 mm) 107.5 in (2,730 mm)
Trunk Capacity (top up) 10.8 cu ft (306 L) 10.8 cu ft (306 L) 10.8 cu ft (306 L)
Curb Weight 3,880 lb (1,760 kg) 3,814 lb (1,730 kg) 3,840 lb (1,742 kg)
Fuel-Tank Capacity 17.2 gal (65 L) 17.2 gal (65 L) 17.2 gal (65 L)
Headroom 38.3/36.1 in (974/918 mm) (front/rear) 38.3/36.1 in (974/918 mm) (front/rear) 38.3/36.1 in (974/918 mm) (front/rear)
Legroom 44.1/25.9 in (1,120/658 mm) (front/rear) 44.1/25.9 in (1,120/658 mm) (front/rear) 44.1/25.9 in (1,120/658 mm) (front/rear)
Shoulder Room 54.2/44.7 in (1,378/1,136 mm) (front/rear) 54.2/44.7 in (1,378/1,136 mm) (front/rear) 54.2/44.7 in (1,378/1,136 mm) (front/rear)
Hip Room 54.3/43.3 in (1,379/1,101 mm) (front/rear) 54.3/43.3 in (1,379/1,101 mm) (front/rear) 54.3/43.3 in (1,379/1,101 mm) (front/rear)
2010 Lexus IS250 and IS350 Convertible
- image 301119


Model Trim Prices
IS 350C $44,890
IS 250C $40,610
IS 250C Manual $39,440


Navigation System/Mark Levinson Premium Audio System Package $4,015
Navigation System $2,465
Luxury Package $3,055
Luxury Package with Two-Tone Blue/Alabaster Interior Trim $3,055

Options & Accessories

2010 Lexus IS250 and IS350 Convertible
- image 301122
F-Sport™ 19-in Forged Alloy Wheels $2,196
F-Sport Carbon Fiber Engine Cover $865
F-Sport Performance Air Intake $455
F-Sport Clutch $599
F-Sport Shift Knob $95
F-Sport Quick Shifter Kit $300
F-Sport Performance Exhaust System $1,470
F-Sport Front Brake Upgrade $3,025
F-Sport Rear Brake Upgrade $2,550
F-Sport Shock Absorber Set $740
F-Sport Lowering Spring Set $299
F-Sport Sway Bar $495
18 x 8.0-in alloy wheels with 225/40YR18 all-season tires front, 18 x 8.5-in alloy wheels with 255/40YR18 all-season tires rear $720
18 x 8.0-in alloy wheels with 225/40YR18 run-flat tires front, 18 x 8.5-in alloy wheels with 255/40YR18 run-flat tires rear $1,040
18-in G-Spider alloy wheels with 18-in tires $2,450
18-in ISP Mode alloy wheels with 18-in tires $2,450
Wheel locks $81
Intuitive Parking Assist $500
Heated and ventilated front seats with perforated leather trim, and dark gray bird’s-eye maple interior trim $1,040
Wind Screen $650
Pre-Collision System (PCS) and Dynamic Radar Cruise Control $1,500
Bi-Xenon™ High-Intensity Discharge (HID) headlamps with Adaptive Front Lighting System (AFS) $875
Headlamp washers $100
Paint Protection Film $429
Cargo net – envelope $64
Carpet cargo mat $73
Rear bumper appliqué $69
2010 Lexus IS250 and IS350 Convertible
- image 301163

Competitors and press reviews

"No complaints on ride quality. The IS C is supple without being mushy. It’s quiet too. With the top up, there’s nary a squeak or creak from the top - impressive — and minimal windnoise. Top down, wind buffeting feels about the same as in other cars in this category. Pop for the wind-blocker, as it is very effective at reducing noise and buffeting and is easy for one person to install and remove. As much as we love manual transmissions, we just don’t get it in this application. Although Lexus feels certifying and offering this model is necessary to keep cred against BMW, Infiniti, and others that do likewise, it feels out of place in the IS C, especially since it can be had only with the smaller engine. Believe it or not, the car feels zippier with the automatic, as opposed to the tall-geared stick." (MotorTrend)

2010 Lexus IS250 and IS350 Convertible
- image 301125

"To our enthusiast minds, the 306-hp IS 350C makes a lot more sense. The additional 102 hp and another 66 pounds over the IS 250C makes for a significantly better driving experience. The handling is still more feather pillow than fast sweeper, but all those extra ponies – and the attendant 5.8-second 0-60 mph (1.4 seconds quicker than the 328i auto) – simply smother the soft edges of handling. It goes quicker, rolls a little less, steers a little better, and that makes the IS350 C almost a difference in kind, not just degree, compared to the 250C. You can get things done in this car. And enjoy it a little. And still shop." (AutoBlog)

"When the top is down and fresh air is slipping around the windshield, you’re most aware of the well-crafted cockpit. There’s space only for four, as the top mechanism inevitably squeezes shoulder room in the rear, yet this configuration also gives this car some personality. (And if you’re buying a car — any car — based on rear-seat space, you should be rethinking your worthless life in any case.) The 10-way-adjustable power front seats offer support without making a point of it, and there’s a one-touch electronic trigger that moves them aside for rear-seat access. A pop-up rollover bar behind the rear seats adds a dimension of safety, as do lateral beams behind and below the rear seats." (InsideLine)


2010 Lexus IS250 and IS350 Convertible
- image 301174

BMW 3-Series Convertible

BMW has just revealed the 2011 3-Series convertible that will be offered with a choice of two different inline six cylinder engines, with the 328i making 230 HP and the twin turbocharged 335i good for 300 HP and 300 lb-ft of torque thanks to the twin scroll turbine and the integration of Valvetronic engine technology.

Audi A5 Convertible

The Audi A5/S5 Cabriolet comes with a choice of three turbocharged gasoline engines, with power outputs ranging from 211 hp to 354 hp. Prices start at $42,000 and go up to $58,250.

Volvo C70

For 2011, the C70 Convertible is being offered with three gas burning and two diesel engines: first is the T5 turbocharged five cylinder making 230 HP, the 2.4i pumping out 170 HP, the 2.4 cranking out 140 HP. The diesel mills consist of the D5 making 180 HP and the 2.0D that produces 136 HP. Prices start at $39,950.


The Lexus IS C looks good and offers the highest level of interior luxury, there’s no doubt about it, but how does it ride? But before going to that we have to tell you that, if you consider buying one, the best choice is the IS350 (after all you will get an extra 101 hp), but if you decide to go for the IS250 you should try the automatic version.

The car was designed for a fast highway cruise, and this is what it does best, and if you choose a few F-Sport accessories you will also get a sporty ride. So, what are you waiting for? Top down and lets ride!

Alina Moore
Alina Moore
Alina Joined the Topspeed.com team in the early 2000s as one of the outlets very first experts, and she’s been with Topspeed.com ever since. Over the years, she’s served various roles, but today she’s is relied on heavily to verify automotive facts, assist with formatting, and discover new and engaging topics.  Read full bio
About the author
What do you think?
Show Comments


  (506) posted on 08.3.2010

I think the G convertible kills this and I drive the sedan myself, but the G37 would be unacceptable to some potential customers because of the lack of trunk space with the top down.

  (665) posted on 03.17.2010

The color is the ultimate attraction of this one. Without it, it’ll just look as the other Lexus.

  (1022) posted on 10.15.2008

Kinda underpowered though.

  (13) posted on 10.13.2008

that is very true
i also do think this car looks beautiful

  (1022) posted on 10.13.2008

judokidj, you got me there. I wasn’t thinking about it when I wrote this. I do think the California looks good but its also too expensive.

Still, beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. And for some reason I think this car is better. The practical part of my brain must be kicking in.

  (13) posted on 10.12.2008

the best hardtop??/
better than the ferrari california??? hmm

  (1022) posted on 10.10.2008

The best looking hardtop convertible I have seen. Would be interesting to see the Infiniti G37.

  (25) posted on 10.3.2008

It looks just like the BMW 3 sires but Japanese what are the car companies thinking now in days

Car Finder: