Lexus IS 250C: fastest roof in the worldConvertible IS drops its top in just 20 seconds

13 March 2009

Lexus IS 250C

IS 250C has quick-fold roof

Lexus has revealed the full details of its forthcoming IS 250C coupé convertible. And as you would expect from Lexus the attention to detail appears to be extensive.

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For starters, the IS 250C will have the fastest three-piece electric folding hardtop in the world when it goes on sale later this year. It takes just 20 seconds to turn coupé into convertible, and vice versa. It's an operation that requires 15 motors and uses 35 sensors.

Changes over IS saloon

Virtually all of the exterior panels are different to those fitted on the . In fact, the IS 250C even has a 15mm longer front overhang in order to improve aerodynamic efficiency when driving with the top down.

There are rollover hoops behind the rear headrests, and the whole structure has been massively strengthened to cope without its fixed roof.

Lexus aims for top safety

Lexus IS 250C inside

Reprofiled seats should boost rear legroom in IS 250C

Lexus is aiming for a five-star Euro NCAP score; the IS 250C has the world’s first dual-chamber front airbag, plus particularly large side airbags to compensate for the loss of the saloon’s curtain airbags. Anti-skid electronic stability control is fitted as standard.

The engine is the same 204bhp, 2.5-litre V6 fitted in the IS 250 saloon. But the IS 250C's chassis and suspension have been extensively modified to create a more relaxed driving experience.

On the inside, the IS 250C gets unique instrument design to ensure good open-air visibility. The climate control and stereo systems have also been reconfigured to adapt accordingly. Reprofiled seats improve rear legroom, according to Lexus.

IS 250C prices to follow

Luggage space is aided by a 50mm longer rear overhang. The boot offers 583 litres in coupé mode, 235 litres as a convertible. The IS 250C is reputedly the only folding hardtop in its class that can accommodate a nine-inch golf bag with the roof stowed.

Provisional figures suggest the IS 250C will return 30.4mpg combined fuel economy, and emit 219g/km CO2. Prices are yet to be revealed by Lexus.


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