2015 Lexus IS 250C and IS 350C convertible

2015 Lexus IS C Leads a Double Life

Lexus will continue to build IS 250C and IS 350C convertibles in 2014
Lexus will continue to build IS 250C and IS 350C convertibles in 2014

For 2014 the Lexus IS 250C and IS 350C coupe/ convertibles will carry on using the previous generation platform and drivetrains. Like the IS F super sedan, these sport-luxury touring cars will have to wait a bit before being moved to the new IS platform now being used for the IS 350 and IS 250 sedans. This should be viewed as welcome news by Lexus convertible shoppers because it seems to indicate that the Toyota/Lexus corporations’ only convertible cars will continue on, and possibly be updated next year in 2015.

The 2015 Lexus IS C comes in four flavors: IS 250 with a 204 hp 2.5-liter V6 engine; IS 250 F SPORT with track-tuned handling upgrades; IS 350 with the potent 306 hp 3.5-liter V6, and the IS 350 F SPORT. All come standard with a six-speed automatic transmission with steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters.

2015 Lexus IS 350C
2015 Lexus IS 350C
The 2015 Lexus IS C comes in four flavors: IS 250 with a 204 hp 2.5-liter V6 engine; IS 250 F SPORT with track-tuned handling upgrades; IS 350 with the potent 306 hp 3.5-liter V6, and the IS 350 F SPORT. All come standard with a six-speed automatic transmission with steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters.

The IS C also comes with a pedigree. 

More than 20 years ago, Lexus became the first brand to offer a retractable hardtop convertible in the premium-luxury segment, the SC 430. Lexus refined technology from that car for the IS C, bringing it to a more accessible segment.

Leave it to Lexus to ensure coupe-like quiet and comfort in a convertible. The IS C makes effective use of an acoustic glass windshield, along with special seals on the roof, door and window panels. The rear window is made from reinforced glass. The design looks sleek to the eye and is also slippery in the wind tunnel. An impressively low 0.29 coefficient of drag (Cd) helps to minimize wind buffeting in the cabin when the top is down.

The available F SPORT package brings out the IS C models’ inner road athlete. The F SPORT grille and lip spoiler and aerodynamic body elements accentuate the car’s already sporty stance. The sport-tuned suspension sharpens the car’s moves without harshening the ride.

The Dark Superchrome finish?on the 18-inch split-five-spoke alloy wheels gives the IS C F SPORT models an almost sinister look, and the wheels apply a trick from racing, called a “staggered” tire array. The front 18 x 8.0-in wheels have 225/40YR18 tires, and the wider 18 x 8.5-in rear wheels wear 255/40YR18 tires (choice of all-season or summer performance tires).

Lexus launched the first premium-luxury convertible coupe as the SC 430 at the Paris Auto Show in 2000. That car was different than the current generation of IS convertibles in many ways, but it did have the hardtop coupe body with an aluminum retractable top and no B pillar that is so sought after as a premium touring car.

Although the car had 4 seat belts it was not really a 4-passenger layout. Lexus introduced the more practical IS 250C and IS 350C in 2009 as 2010 models to carry forward the coupe convertible tourer car for the company. For a short while in late 2009 both were offered.

The Lexus IS 250C and IS 350C compete mainly with the BMW 3 series convertible, and the Infiniti Q60/G37 coupe convertibles. Although each seems similar on paper, they all have distinct personalities. Shoppers will quickly find that the Lexus is the least expensive when comparably equipped. We have not driven the new Q60 Convertible.

What’s New for 2014

  • Redesigned organ-type accelerator pedal.
  • Lexus Enform App Suite adds Slacker and upgrades to iHeartRadio 4.0.


  • The IS 250C’s 2.5-liter V6 engine delivers 204 horsepower at 6,400 rpm and 185 lb.-ft. of peak torque at 4,800 rpm.
  • The IS 350C’s 3.5-liter V6 offers 306 horsepower at 6,400 rpm and 277 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,800 rpm.
  • The 3.5-liter V6 augments direct fuel injection with port fuel injectors. In light- and medium-load conditions, these additional injectors help produce a precise burn, optimizing power and efficiency.
  • A dual exhaust system reduces backpressure.


  • The body structure has excellent rigidity and strength, achieved by effective structural changes and additions to the rocker area, A and B pillar under structure, side collision crossmember, and upper and rear-floor crossmembers; underfloor braces were added in the front and rear.
  • High-rigidity damping materials and asphalt sheets help minimize vibration effects.
  • The IS C features standard 10-spoke 17-inch wheels with a clean liquid-graphite finish and optional split five-spoke or five-spoke 18-inch wheels with a liquid-graphite finish and all-season tires.
  • Standard Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management System (VDIM) interfaces with the electronic throttle control system and governs all of the vehicle’s dynamic handling systems – the Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Brake Assist (BA), Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) and Traction Control (TRAC) – employing them collectively and seamlessly to make corrections while helping provide higher dynamic capability.

Safety and Security Features

  • Seatbelt pre-tensioners and force limiters are used for the front seats, while the rear seats adopt emergency locking retractor seatbelts.
  • The Lexus Supplemental Restraint System (SRS) includes dual-front airbags, front-seat-mounted side curtain and torso side airbags, and knee airbags for both the driver and the front passenger.


  • Two convenient fold-forward lock-release levers on both sides of the front seats make operation easier from any seat. In addition, the passenger seat features a power slide button on the top of the seatback to ease rear seat ingress/egress.
  • An available automatic one-touch, easy-entry power-seat mechanism provides even easier egress and ingress through quick-acting, front-seat fold-and-slide activation.
  • The doors feature three open-stopping positions (rather than the normal two) to add convenience in various parking situations.
  • The standard SmartAccess keyless entry and push-button-start/stop allows the driver to keep the access key fob in a pocket or purse.
  • Standard Hill-start Assist Control (HAC) helps prevent the vehicle from moving backward when the driver’s foot moves from the brake pedal to the accelerator.

Luxury Options

  • The available Hard-Disk Drive (HDD) Navigation System has a seven-inch VGA touch-screen, back-up camera, Voice Command casual-language voice recognition system, Bluetooth automatic phonebook download and music streaming, HD Radio™ with iTunes tagging.
  • Available in conjunction with the optional navigation system is a 12-speaker Mark Levinson Premium Surround Sound Audio system that features discrete 5.1 multi-channel playback, nine amplifier channels providing 270 watts total output at 0.1 percent total harmonic distortion (THD).
  • Bi-Xenon HID headlamps with LED daytime running lamps (DRLs) are available.
  • 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.


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