2010 IS 350C Photos

Base 2dr Convertible
2010 Lexus IS 350C

2010 Lexus IS 350C F-Sport - Click above for high-res image gallery When Toyota launched Lexus in 1989, it had one goal in mind: Beat the Germans at the luxury game. And for a while, at least, they did exactly that. The LS400 didn't change everything, but it manifested a shift in the luxury paradigm. However, the LS400 was at the top of the heap, competing against the mighty S-Class from Mercedes-Benz and the 7 Series from BMW (Audi and Cadillac were both in their basket case phases and not really competing with anyone). Towards the bottom of the luxury pile sat the Lexus ES 250. Despite being the nicest Camry ever built, it was most definitely Glass Joe to the BMW 3 Series' Mike Tyson in the entry level luxury/performance punch out. After more than a decade, Lexus eventually realized that no matter how refined it made the front-wheel-drive, Camry-based ES lineup, it simply couldn't compete with the sportiness inherent to the rear-wheel-driven 3 Series. As such, it introduced the sporty IS 300 in 2001. While the IS featured some killer features – chronograph style gauges, pop-up navigation screen, manual transmission, a wagon body style and sporty dynamics – its rear seat was so tiny it got classified as a subcompact. Despite some fans, it just wasn't in the same league as the 3 Series, and as you might expect, sales remained lackluster in the U.S. Finally, in 2006 Lexus launched the current generation IS. Available with a 2.5-liter (IS 250) or 3.5-liter (IS 350) V6, the second-generation IS became the first Lexus product that could credibly compete with BMW's dominant 3 Series, as well as the surging Infiniti G35. Then came the hopped-up IS-F, with a 5.0-liter V8 that cranked out 416 horsepower, two ponies more than the 414-hp V8 motor in the M3. Lexus need not make any excuses for the brute IS-F. While Lexus continues to shy away from the full-fledged 3 Series battle royal by not bringing out a two-door or a wagon, it has released a hardtop convertible variant called the IS 350C. We got our hands on a nearly murdered-out variant, the IS 350C F-Sport. Our thoughts and impressions are available after the jump. %Gallery-80113% Photos by Drew Phillips / Copyright ©2010 Weblogs, Inc. As a rule, we're typically not fans of compromised cars. As a second rule, hard top convertibles tend to be compromised. The folding metal top adds weight, complexity, kills luggage space and generally makes the car look awkward, if not outright hunchbacked. When unfolded (admittedly it is a treat to watch such metal tops unfurl), the roof is not as stiff as a true coupe, nor is the cabin as quiet. Granted, there are vehicles like the Mazda Miata Hard Top Convertible that manages to skirt most of these issues, but the folding metal is still a 70-pound weight penalty, which in Miata terms is beaucoup heavy. It should come as no surprise, then, that the IS 350C …
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2010 Lexus IS 350C F-Sport - Click above for high-res image gallery When Toyota launched Lexus in 1989, it had one goal in mind: Beat the Germans at the luxury game. And for a while, at least, they did exactly that. The LS400 didn't change everything, but it manifested a shift in the luxury paradigm. However, the LS400 was at the top of the heap, competing against the mighty S-Class from Mercedes-Benz and the 7 Series from BMW (Audi and Cadillac were both in their basket case phases and not really competing with anyone). Towards the bottom of the luxury pile sat the Lexus ES 250. Despite being the nicest Camry ever built, it was most definitely Glass Joe to the BMW 3 Series' Mike Tyson in the entry level luxury/performance punch out. After more than a decade, Lexus eventually realized that no matter how refined it made the front-wheel-drive, Camry-based ES lineup, it simply couldn't compete with the sportiness inherent to the rear-wheel-driven 3 Series. As such, it introduced the sporty IS 300 in 2001. While the IS featured some killer features – chronograph style gauges, pop-up navigation screen, manual transmission, a wagon body style and sporty dynamics – its rear seat was so tiny it got classified as a subcompact. Despite some fans, it just wasn't in the same league as the 3 Series, and as you might expect, sales remained lackluster in the U.S. Finally, in 2006 Lexus launched the current generation IS. Available with a 2.5-liter (IS 250) or 3.5-liter (IS 350) V6, the second-generation IS became the first Lexus product that could credibly compete with BMW's dominant 3 Series, as well as the surging Infiniti G35. Then came the hopped-up IS-F, with a 5.0-liter V8 that cranked out 416 horsepower, two ponies more than the 414-hp V8 motor in the M3. Lexus need not make any excuses for the brute IS-F. While Lexus continues to shy away from the full-fledged 3 Series battle royal by not bringing out a two-door or a wagon, it has released a hardtop convertible variant called the IS 350C. We got our hands on a nearly murdered-out variant, the IS 350C F-Sport. Our thoughts and impressions are available after the jump. %Gallery-80113% Photos by Drew Phillips / Copyright ©2010 Weblogs, Inc. As a rule, we're typically not fans of compromised cars. As a second rule, hard top convertibles tend to be compromised. The folding metal top adds weight, complexity, kills luggage space and generally makes the car look awkward, if not outright hunchbacked. When unfolded (admittedly it is a treat to watch such metal tops unfurl), the roof is not as stiff as a true coupe, nor is the cabin as quiet. Granted, there are vehicles like the Mazda Miata Hard Top Convertible that manages to skirt most of these issues, but the folding metal is still a 70-pound weight penalty, which in Miata terms is beaucoup heavy. It should come as no surprise, then, that the IS 350C …
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Retail Price

$44,890
MSRP / Window Sticker Price

Smart Buy Price

N/A
Nat'l avg. savings off MSRP
Engine 3.5LV-6
MPG 18 City / 25 Hwy
Seating 4 Passengers
Transmission 6-spd w/OD
Power 306 @ 6400 rpm
Drivetrain rear-wheel
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