Toyota’s premium brand, Lexus, has officially introduced their new IS Convertible with the hope that it could enter a market long dominated by its European counterparts, including BMW and Audi. Characterized as a stylish convertible with luxurious amenities, the 2012 IS Convertible offers plenty of that and so much more.

The sophisticated machine capably blends the stylishness and sportiness of a convertible with the more tuned-down approach of a coupe in one package. There’s plenty to like about the car, from the easy transformation of coupe to convertible and vice versa in just 21 seconds all the way to the new Nebula Gray Pear exterior finish.

The choice of trim for the IS Convertible, whether its the 250C or the 350C, also offers a choice of powertrain, from the more fuel efficient 2.5-liter V6 for the former and the more powerful 3.5-liter V6 for the latter.

For the 2012 IS-C, versatility is the name of the game. And whatever trim option you choose, you’ll be certain to get a car that gives you exactly what you’re looking for.

Find out more about the 2012 Lexus IS Convertible after the jump.

  • 2012 Lexus IS Convertible
  • Year:
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    3.5-liter V6 engine
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    306 horsepower
  • Torque @ RPM:
    277 lb/ft of peak torque
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • body style:


2012 Lexus IS Convertible Exterior
- image 413320

The Lexus IS Convertible model comes in two trims, the 250C and the 350C. While the exterior design lends itself to the lineage of the IS sedan, it also comes with its own unique and dynamic styling.

Out in the front, the car is characterized by the hood lines that flow into a unique chrome grille then continue down into an air inlet before flowing outward past the distinctive elliptical fog lamp designs that make the car’s profile stand out. Over at the side, the car’s convertible set-up allows it to be a little more aggressive and muscular-looking, especially when the belt-line draws up around the rear deck lid. As for the rear, the IS Convertible combines the taillamp clusters with two distinct horizontal lines to emphasize personality. With a clean and continuous design throughout the rear, it makes for a pretty impressive view without having too worry about design clutter.

There’s no question that the IS-C is targeting a young audience and the design accomplishes it without being too bland for the younger demographic’s taste. The impressive design of the car is further complemented by a new set of 18" fix-spoke wheels with a Liquid Graphite finish.


The IS-C’s interior comes with the perfect blend of design, comfort, technology, and luxury - not an easy feat considering that balancing all four is a difficult task for everybody.

The four-seat configuration - with leather trim, no less - offers ample space for each passenger with the rear seats carrying a few amenities, including storage and cup holders. The power front seats can be adjusted ten ways, including power lumbar support and a heated/ventilated function that has a heating range reaching from the shoulder areas and increases airflow in ventilation function.

Though the gauge cluster is similar to that found on the IS sedan, a few noticeable modifications have been done for aesthetic and functional purposes. In the IS-C, a high-contrast multi-information LCD is available with a multi-information display that includes status of the hardtop while in transformation so you know how far it is along in its progress. The display will also let you know if there’s a malfunction that’s impeding the roof from opening or closing.

As a bonus - or bonuses - for those wanting more for their car, Lexus is offering a slew of upgrades for the IS-C, including the company’s own Hard-Disk Drive (HDD) navigation system with a seven-inch VGA touch-screen and back-up camera. There’s also the Mark Levinson Premium Surround Sound Audio system, which comes with a 12-speaker audio system and a discrete 5.1 multi-channel playback with 5.1-channel speaker architecture. Another optional system is the Intuitive Park Assist, which comes with 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. Then there’s the Pre-Collision System that is packaged with the Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, which uses millimeter-wave radar to measure and help maintain a set distance from a vehicle traveling ahead.


2012 Lexus IS Convertible Exterior
- image 413628

The 2012 IS Convertible will carry the same powertrain options as that of its sedan sibling. The IS 250C will come with a 2.5-liter V6 engine, producing an output of 204 horsepower at 6,400 rpm and 185 lb/ft of torque at 4,800 rpm. As for the more powerful IS 350C, it carries a 3.5-liter V6 engine with 306 horsepower at 6,400 rpm and 277 lb/ft of torque at 4,800 rpm.

Both engines feature aluminum cylinder blocks and heads, and use dual Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i) to control timing on both the intake and exhaust camshafts. Likewise, the IS 250C comes in a choice of either a six-speed manual transmission or a paddle-shift, six-speed automatic transmission while the IS 350C is powered by an advanced six-speed automatic transmission with steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters.


2012 Lexus IS Convertible Exterior
- image 413318

To ensure the safety and rigidity of the IS-C, Lexus made sure to give it top-quality safety features, including seatbelt pre-tensioners and force limiters for the front seats, as well as retractor seatbelts with an automatic locking retractor for the rear seats.

Dual-front airbags come as standard for the model while the IS Convertible also features the Lexus Supplemental Restraint System (SRS), which includes 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.


No word yet on how much the 2012 Lexus IS Convertible is going to cost, but when you base it on the 2011 models, the price can hit anywhere between $40,000 to $45,000.


2012 Lexus IS Convertible Exterior
- image 413633

Among the cars you’ll most likely come across when looking for alternatives to the Lexus IS-C are the BMW 3-Series Convertible and the Audi S5.

Both cars cost more than the IS-C - each costs in the neighborhood of $59,000 - so we’ll just get that out of the way. But what you get for the premium price isn’t something that you should take lightly.

For the BMW 3-Series, the 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder engine with TwinPower Turbo technology produces an output of 320 horsepower, which is more than what either Lexus trim is capable. Then there’s that thing about it being a BMW, which by its name alone, already carries a certain cache to it that Lexus is striving to have.

The same can be said for a car like the Audi S5, which also has a more powerful engine in the form of its 3.0-liter TFSI engine and its 333-horsepower and 325 lb/ft of torque output. It’s a little more expensive than the 3-Series Convertible, but it offers more bang for your buck as far as interior goodies are concerned.

So is there really a market for the Lexus IS-C? Well, it’s a strong segment that has some pretty popular models in the mix. Having said that, the Lexus IS-C still has some zing behind its punches and if you’ve got some heat, you’ll get attention.

2012 Lexus IS Convertible Exterior
- image 413319
  • Leave it
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    • Powertrain could’ve been better
Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert -
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read More
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Show Comments


  (498) posted on 01.5.2012

Admittedly, IS is a very appealing vehicle in spite of having only a simple design, but I must say that I still prefer to have a BMW vehicle than on this for the fact that BMW has the most efficient engine.

  (762) posted on 01.5.2012

I love the fact that this IS convertible had a cheaper alternative and had also a lot of interior options. I’m really fond with convertible cars, I always find them too classy and fun to drive.

  (647) posted on 12.22.2011

I wanted to see this car in public. Although the performance is a bit weak, the interior of the car makes a sense. The alternative is cheap, and I’d rather choose this one than its competition.

  (409) posted on 12.9.2011

It looks so exclusive and decent on its aesthetic design. Even its dressed up interior seems awesome on it. However, I must say that its engine is not so satisfying.

  (569) posted on 12.5.2011

Well, I still prefer to have an Audi convertible vehicle than with this Lexus. Sure, it is a good-looking vehicle in spite of having only a simple detailing, but I’m not really so satisfied with its engine.

  (517) posted on 12.2.2011

Well, compared with BMW, I must say that Lexus will surely stand out. The simplicity of this convertible is more appealing than with BMW. However, I noticed that its competitor is more powerful than on it.

  (448) posted on 11.15.2011

The engine specification of this convertible is I think quite good enough only for this one. Anyway, I noticed that it was still oozing with car appeal, in spite of having a simple detailing, which is truly very impressive on it.

  (197) posted on 10.12.2011

I’m impressed with the simplicity of this convertible car, but I noticed that it was oozing with car appeal, and I love the fact that it had a cheaper alternative, but I’m disappointed with its poor figure performance.

  (599) posted on 09.29.2011

Very elegant convertible Lexus IS, every angle look so sophisticated including its color scheme which do complements to the car parts.

  (402) posted on 09.21.2011

I really love the simplicity of this convertible, the beauty that it had is so irresistible! The safety features sound so great. I would love to have this for myself! smiley

  (374) posted on 09.16.2011

I don’t really think that V6 engine is a better one for this convertible car, but I must say that I’m quite impressed with the design of it.

  (320) posted on 09.15.2011

I’m impressed with the simplicity of this convertible car, but I noticed that this car is oozing with appeal and I really don’t think that V6 engine will give a better performance on it.

  (630) posted on 09.9.2011

The convertible version really looks great on the car. I was impressed with the styling of the Lexus. However, I think they could actually boost the figure performance of the car.

  (599) posted on 09.9.2011

Wow, That’s great! Even the car is in convertible version, still it offers an economical vehicle. I have read that the 3-series is incredible as well. I wonder who has the highest sale. 

  (377) posted on 09.7.2011

IS convertible is really oozing with appeal which I found so impressive though it had a simple styling and Maria Nalocca is right that even it didn’t have any accessories it already looking great!

  (306) posted on 09.6.2011

I am really fond with convertible cars that had a simple platform design or didn’t have lots of accessories. IS convertible is oozing with car appeal, which is so good for it.

  (365) posted on 08.31.2011

I love the fact that this IS convertible had a cheaper alternative and had also a lot of interior options. I’m really fond with convertible cars, I always find them too classy and fun to drive.

  (384) posted on 08.24.2011

Hopefully, it could really enter the market! I wanted to see this car in public. Although the performance is a bit weak, the interior of the car makes a sense. The alternative is cheap, and I’d rather choose this one than its competition.

  (397) posted on 08.24.2011

I really love the styling of the Cabrio, I like the elegance on its exterior. The figure performance of the car is less powerful.

  (383) posted on 08.24.2011

The main problem with convertible is due to the heaviness of the hard top rooftop the figure performance of the car was being affected. I was thinking on how this car will compete against the M3?

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