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Lexus IS250 and 350 Cs at SEMA - Click above for high-res image gallery

While it might be tempting to dismiss the Lexus C (either the 250 or 350) as a bustled buttocksed luxury faux-sports car, Lexus implanted enough good handling (in the 250 C) and/or POWA! (in the 350 C) to make 'em pretty much OK in our book. Still, this is SEMA -- pretty much OK is never even kinda close to good enough.

Meet the IS 350C by Fox Marketing. First of all, check out that Foxy Green paint. We like it, and it reminds us of the Snake Skin Green found on the Dodge Viper -- bonus! But Fox's IS 350C is much more than several coats of high-gloss paint, there's a supercharger bolted to the 3.5-liter V6 making six pounds of boost and increasing the motor's gumption from 300 horses to a pretty dang respectable 405 hp. There are no less than eleven custom body panels, including a Foxy Green Lexus badge. We like this one.

Next up is the IS 350 C by Auto Salon and JTuned.com. Unlike the shiny Foxy Green C, this one is matte. And red. With a touch of black. And while there's (sadly) no supercharger, there is about $15,000 worth of mods and baubles, including performance enhancing goodies like a custom intake, exhaust and air filter. There's also a reworked fuel mapping schema and a new throttle system. There's also a set of big old Hankooks and more carbon fiber than a Boeing Dreamliner. Just kidding on that last bit, but you get the idea.

Lastly, we've got 0-60 and Design Craft Fabrication's custom IS 250 C. From a handling perspective, this might be pick of the litter, as we've always dug the more balanced dancing ways of the smaller 250 to the faster but nose-heavier 350. Add to that a KW coilover setup, chipped ECU, tuned exhaust and custom Brembos stopping one-piece Advan racing wheels and you've got quite a tasty package. And the Pontiac G8 looking twin hood vents are kinda growing on us.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      O o O matte red!
        • 5 Years Ago
        Damn them. I was going to paint my Mustang matte red, because it hasn't been done as much. Grrr now I don't want it anymore.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Pontiac G8 looking hood vents? How about Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution I, V, VI, and VII? There is a big difference between the G8's scoops and the Evo's extractor vents.

      I hope you have a good excuse for that kind of faux pas.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Has anyone actually seen one of these convertibles on the street? Recently I saw one and it was awful. I don't know the lines just don't seem to fit, I'd rather take the G37 convertible than this.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Any info on the purple/color changing IS300 in the back of the first picture?

      I believe I know the car but not sure why it would be at SEMA.
      • 5 Years Ago
      You can totally dismiss TOY ota as a valid car maker, more like liars, crooks and con artists

      U.S. criticizes Toyota for 'misleading' (LYING) public in recall

      Washington -- The government sharply criticized Toyota Motor Corp. Wednesday for its
      "inaccurate and misleading"
      suggestion that sudden acceleration in some vehicles bound for recall may be due only to improperly fitting floor mats.

      The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration's criticism of Toyota's statement is the latest hit to the automaker's reputation from what will be the largest safety recall in its history: 3.8 million vehicles.

      NHTSA said Toyota inaccurately suggested in a press release this week that the agency had concluded "that no defect exists in vehicles in which the driver's floor mat is compatible with the vehicle and properly secured," the agency said in a statement.

      "It was never our intention to mislead or provide inaccurate information (BS) . Toyota agrees with NHTSA's position that the removal of the floor mats is an interim measure and that further vehicle-based action is required," said Toyota spokesman Brian Lyons.

      "We are in the process of developing vehicle-based remedies to help avoid the potential for an unsecured or incompatible floor mat to trap the accelerator pedal."

      On Monday, Toyota refuted suggestions that other defects might be causing the accidental acceleration, and pointed to the government's decision not to investigate a consumer complaint.

      Bob Carter, general manager of the Toyota-brand division of Toyota Motor Sales USA, told reporters there is "absolutely no evidence" pointing to a defect other than poor-fitting floor mats.

      Sean Kane, president of Massachusetts-based Safety Research & Strategies, said Toyota was "waving the agency's denial of the latest petition for a defect investigation like a victory banner."

      While NHTSA hasn't found a vehicle-based defect that is causing unwanted acceleration, "it doesn't mean there isn't one," he said. "It just means that the agency hasn't found it."

      NHTSA says removing the recalled floor mats is the most immediate way to address the safety risk.

      "But it is simply an interim measure.
      This remedy does not correct the underlying defect in the vehicles involving the potential for entrapment of the accelerator by floor mats, which is related to accelerator and floor pan design," the agency said.

      • 5 Years Ago
      Ug.ly. The red one looks like it's in primer, and should be parked behind either a body shop, or in front of a mobile home.
      JDM Life
      • 5 Years Ago
      Those are some fu8king hot IS-C's

      I think the White is my fav tho. But they are all sexy.

      What no love for the 1000hp IS300? or the modded GS? Both awesome cars.
      • 5 Years Ago
      And the nice thing is the rear-seat passengers get a great view of the roll bar in their face!

      And please... please... Can we just stop with the matte paint? It looks like it just needs to be polished. And matte lights??? What did they just take some sand paper to them? That combo especially just looks like it needs a good wash and wax.
      • 5 Years Ago
      "From a handling perspective, this might be pick of the litter, as we've always dug the more balanced dancing ways of the smaller 250 to the faster but nose-heavier 350."

      Good God. I love how these poseurs at Autoblog continue to write like they actually know WTF they're talking about. "balanced dancing ways"? Clearly you've never driven an IS250, at least in stock form anyway. There is little the aftermarket can't cure but I assure you that you could send a stock IS250 to ballet school and it would still come back with two left feet. Not to mention the difference in curb weight between the 250 and the 350 is practically negligible as both cars run a version of Toyota's GR V6 engine up front. Or did you idiots forget that the 250 is powered by a bent six and not an inline 4? The entire 92 pounds (72 pounds if you go for the IS250 6MT with its horribly light and crappy clutch and vague and rubbery shifter) the 250 sheds over the 350 is not going to bestow it with "balanced dancing ways". Morons.
        JDM Life
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yea i thought that was stupid also.

        When was the 350 EVER nose heavy?? LMAO
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