Paris 2008: 2009 Lexus IS250C

Click above for a high-res gallery of the 2009 Lexus IS250C

Lexus has chopped off two doors and the roof from the IS250 to create the IS250C, due to arrive in Europe in the summer of 2009, and the U.S. shortly thereafter.

The 2009 Lexus IS250C features a three-piece aluminum roof that retracts in a "world's fastest" 20 seconds, and features revised overhangs 15mm (front) and 55mm (rear) longer than the sedan, a new fog lamp design and a rising beltline that integrates into the revised haunches. The IS250C's rear end leaves a lot to be desired, with an odd assortment of angles terminating into a set of awkwardly placed LED taillights. With the top up, nothing seems to seamlessly blend together, looking like an ill-advised amalgamation of the outgoing SC430 and BMW 335i. Inside, thing get mildly better – in typical staid Lexus tradition – with a set of rollover hoops for the rear seat passengers, a 12-speaker Mark Levinson sound system and a speed sensitive climate control system that will boost the heat during open air jaunts. And naturally, you can fit a golf bag in the trunk with the top down.

Make the jump for Lexus' brief press release and check the galleries below for live and press photos from Paris.

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IS 250C – World Premiere

Making its world debut at the 2008 Paris Motor Show, the new IS 250C combines the sporting elegance of the IS sedan with superlative engineering ingenuity to create a unique fusion of top-down driving pleasure and uncompromised closed-top dynamic performance in the premium sedan segment. Its lightweight, aluminium folding roof structure boasts the fastest three-part roof opening time of just 20 seconds. Through the remarkably compact packaging of its roof mechanism, the IS 250C offers a large boot space, generous rear seat access and spacious rear passenger accommodation.

Sharing the IS 250's 153kW/208DIN hp, 2.5 litre ultra-smooth V6 powerplant and 6-speed automatic transmission, the new Lexus convertible has been styled to offer minimal wind turbulence when driving with the hard top stowed. The enhanced torsional stiffness of the IS 250C design promotes ride comfort appropriate to the marque and, in coupe configuration, reduced noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) characteristics on a par with those of the IS sedan.

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