Lexus IS 250 C Review
A suitable proposition

Story & pictures by Azfar Hashim
23 Aug 2009

Lexus was late, but fashionably late - thankfully, there's reasonably not much fault with their new IS-C

Lexus IS-C

Have you ever wondered what car you can buy, you know, something that's (a) stylish, (b) topless, and (c) won't appear as if you're going through a mid-life crisis? One that you bloody know for sure the missus will approve of and can ferry the in-laws around still.

Well if your list has the 3 Series, C-Class or A4 in it, I unfortunately have to say this: you belong to the sort of group who are just too comfortable buying an ordinary sedan. For that, I don't think you should carry on reading this story. Thank you, and goodbye...

BUT if you beg to differ, then carry on reading. At this point, I'm pretty sure you're saying to yourself, "Nah, I'm way cooler than that" - FYI, it's ok to consider yourself cool, even if you're already experienced (read: old).

So you're cool, right? And want to have a cool car that suits your classy but cool personality? Ahh...enter the Lexus IS-C.

The Lexus IS-C is not the brand's first ever convertible. Remember the SC430? Well that one was good, and I remember driving it some 5 years ago - it's very refined, with hard-to-fault build quality. But with rather unconventional Japanese exterior that has the love it or loathe it look, fan base wasn't that great here. And our badge-conscious motoring population would rather go for something with the star badge or blue roundel.

When Lexus decided to come up with a convertible version of their popular IS sedan, it wasn't something unexpected. After all, it can be considered a bold move on their part - instead of coming up with "just a coupe", they went straight for a convertible-coupe. So a customer who wants an IS250 that is ravishing, comes with a removable roof and looks cool with only 2-doors, then the IS-C is something they should have a closer look at.


Viewed from the front, there's nothing much to differentiate the IS-C from the IS250 - which is pretty disappointing, as it shows the design team's lack of creativity to differentiate the two. It's only when you look along the flanks towards the C-pillar, that you'll notice clearly that this is purely something else. The side profile looks classy: yes, it has strong cues of the IS250, but with two doors missing, it makes the apparent sleekness appear - well, for no better word - even sleeker.

Some might opine the IS-C looks seemingly larger than the IS250. And there's no wrong to that - it shares the same wheelbase (2,730mm), but in the case of the IS-C, it is actually 60mm longer and 10mm taller than the sedan derivative.

The rear of the IS-C seems bulky, no qualm about that, but considering it stores a foldable metal roof with tonnes of components, Lexus should be forgiven. Now take a closer look at the rear lamps - if you think they're familiar, like you've seen it somewhere before, well, you can't be faulted. Yes, they seem to be lifted off the Toyota Camry - but of course, given a far stylish touch, with the clever use of LEDs. Then to complete the look, twin exhaust comes standard.

17-inch alloys, wrapped in 225/45 R-17 front and 245/45 R-17 rear Bridgestone Potenza RE050 tyres still seem to look undersize for the IS-C. I don't know about you, but I'm just very sure a set of 18-inch will do the job proper.

Oh, and I must say it - this predominant shade of blue suits the IS-C very nicely.

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Engine Capacity 2500cc
Engine Type V 6
Compression Ratio 12.0:1 :1
Bore x Stroke (83.0 x 77.0 )mm
Power 204bhp @ 6400rpm
Torque 252Nm @ 4800rpm
Power to Weight 117.9 bhp per ton


Acceleration 9s (0-100 km/h)
Fuel Consumption (combined) 13.0 km/L

Misc Technical Data

Transmission 6 -speed Auto
Drive Type FR
Steering Electric


Body Type Cabriolet
(L x W x H)
(4635 x 1800 x 1415) mm
Wheelbase 2730 mm
Turning Circle 5.1 metres
Kerb Weight 1730 kg
Boot Capacity 583 L
Fuel Tank Capacity 65 L


Brakes (Front) Ventilated Discs
Brakes (Rear) Discs