Lexus IS Retractable Hard-Top Convertible Offers Top-Down Expressiveness with Coupe-Inspired Styling
May 15, 2009 – Torrance, CA The all-new 2010 Lexus IS 350C and IS 250C hard-top convertibles
give Lexus a coupe and convertible in the entry luxury segment for the
first time. The IS C models combine the expressiveness of a convertible
with the athletic styling of a coupe.
Sophisticated Retractable Hardtop Convertible
IS250C and IS350C represent Lexus’ second convertible and its first
since the debut of the SC430 in 2001. Featuring a convenient
single-switch operation, the new three-piece hard top provides open-air
freedom with the top down without sacrificing the quiet and comfort of
a coupe. Constructed primarily of lightweight aluminum, the hard top
also provides surprising storage space but with low noise and increased
security not typically found in soft-top convertibles. In addition, the
top completely retracts with no elements remaining in view.
Four-link roof assembly, also made of aluminum for a lightweight
design, provides smooth even movement. Engineered to operate in an
easy, efficient manner, each component is motor driven with detection
switches, allowing the control unit to know their exact position at all
times. In addition to the two main roof panels being constructed of
light-weight aluminum, the back window’s reinforced glass construction
also lends itself to reduced weight. Weather-strip changes in areas
around the doors and windows ensure tight seals.
A roof-speed brake-control system decreases the roof speed
especially as it approaches the end of the closing operation in either
direction, ensuring an elegant and quiet movement. On models equipped
with available Intuitive Park Assist (IPA), sonar sensors in the rear
bumper will stop the movement of the luggage door at the start of
operation if it detects an obstacle will interfere. Also, a visual
warning will appear on the instrument panel if a detected obstacle may
soon interfere with top operation.
When the IS convertible’s top is opened or closed, the power windows
will automatically lower if in the closed position, and raise back up
when the operating switch is held. Also, when the top is up, the door
windows automatically lower 15 mm when the door opens, and then raise
back into a fully closed position when the door closes. This ensures
the doors’ clean open/close function while also maintaining a tight
seal around the glass. The aluminum hard top features an automatic
front lock assembly that provides the interior security not found in
soft-top convertibles. When the top is stowed in the down position in
the rear of the IS convertible, the lock assembly is engaged to kept
the panel in a fixed, stable position.
IS convertible has a best-in-class 0.29 drag coefficient (Cd). This is
accomplished with the help of underbody covers below the engine (with
aerodynamic steps), the full floor, and fuel-tank covers, as well as s
rear-floor diffuser with vertical fin and airfoil. Other areas that
contribute to the low Cd include the design shape of the outer mirrors,
high-mount stop lamps, and the rear tailamps. Fender fairings before
the front and rear tires reduce airflow into the wheel house, improving
aero characteristics and reducing air turbulence.
The IS convertible’s air conditioning system automatically adjusts
for the outside temperature when the top is lowered, improving interior
temperature consistency and comfort. The system adjusts the air
outlets, temperature and air flow exiting the outlets. The airflow
volume adjusts to outside temperature and vehicle speed, while the
temperature control adjusts to outside temperature, amount of sunlight
and vehicle speed. The system also includes a pollen filter and
Convertible Body Rigidity
IS convertibleâ€™s body structure has excellent rigidity and strength,
achieved by effective structural changes and additions to the existing
IS sedan platform. Additional bracing was implemented to help provide
excellent handling control, ride comfort and body durability while also
minimizing weight gain.
Areas that received modifications or additions include the rocker
area; A and B pillar under structure; side collision crossmember, and
upper and rear-floor crossmembers. In addition, underfloor braces were
added both in the front and the rear.
The transformation to a convertible also required reevaluation of
noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) characteristics in order to meet
Lexus standards. All body and chassis revisions have gone through
extensive testing to ensure that the IS250C and IS350C have nearly
identical NVH characteristics as the IS sedans. High-rigidity damping
materials and asphalt sheets have been added to minimize vibration
effects. Redesigned rear-suspension-mount bushings help reduce noise
and vibration associated with the changes in body characteristics from
a sedan to a convertible. Additional sound absorption and insulation
materials have been optimally positioned to create a quiet, comfortable
IS250C and IS350C’s new exterior design has its lineage in the IS sedan
but possesses its own dynamic styling, including unique characteristics
when interchanging between convertible and coupe configurations. With
the exception of the hood, all other body panels have been redesigned
to blend seamlessly with the new three-panel folding roof.
The convex shoulder lines distinguish the convertible’s profile,
while the top-up configuration provides a sweeping cabin silhouette.
With the top down, the belt-line draws up around the rear deck lid,
providing a muscular look.
In the front, hood lines flow into a unique chrome grille shape,
then continue down into an air inlet before flowing outward past the
more distinctive elliptical fog-lamp design.
The rear view features a clean, continuous design, with flowing
bumper corners and a strong bumper shape that flows inward towards the
exhaust. All-new combination tail-lamp clusters feature LED lights and
two distinct horizontal lines that emphasize breadth, while the LED
brake light integrated within the standard rear spoiler imparts a
The IS convertible features two new wheels unique from the IS sedan
line up. Standard 17-inch wheels utilize two multi-layered five-spoke
patterns for a contemporary 10-spoke design with a clean
liquid-graphite finish. Optional 18-inch wheels have an athletic
five-spoke design with asymmetrical changes in shape and a
liquid-graphite finish. Both feature the tire-pressure warning system
found on the sedan models. In addition to standard all-season tires, an
optional run-flat tire is available either with or without a spare,
adding to the available luggage space.
Five colors common with the IS sedan are available on the
convertible, ultrasonic blue is shared with the ISF, and Cerulean Blue
is an all-new color exclusive to the IS C. Like the sedans, additional
wet sanding is applied in mid-coat application to provide a premium
Unique Interior Look
IS convertible interior maintains the luxury touch points associated
with the IS sport sedans, while new comfort and entertainment features
provide a consistent atmosphere regardless of top configuration.
Special attention was given to providing an attractive interior design
when viewing the convertible externally. The door and side trim is
fashioned to create continuity and continuous flow from front to back.
A four-seat configuration provides each passenger with their own
comfort space, and the rear-seat console enhances the rear-passenger
amenities with cup holders and storage. Soft padding on the sides of
the console and the outer trim areas improve comfort. The rear
headrests are retractable for improved visibility and the lever can
easily be accessed from the rear console or from the driver’s seat.
Rear-seat comfort is enhanced by shifting seat position inboard,
providing for sizeable headroom.
Eight-way adjustable power front seats, including power lumbar
support are standard, and the available heated/ventilated function has
increased heating range to include the shoulder areas and increases
airflow in ventilation function. Front-seat backs are scaled inward,
and slim, leather seat-back pockets help to maximize rear-seat legroom.
The gauge cluster is similar to that of the IS sedan, some additions
on the IS convertible add style and function. A higher-contrast
multi-information LCD, dial-color change for more contrast, and
decreased surface-glass transmittance all enhance visibility when the
top is down. The multi-information display also includes status of the
hardtop while in transformation, providing a bar graph showing its
progress. It also displays a warning to inform the driver if the roof
is not completely open/closed, a rear obstacle may impede proper
open/close operation, or if the open/close function is not available
while the vehicle is in motion. Metallic trim around the two main
gauges contribute to a premium look.
The interior adopts recycled materials in 13 various areas including
door and side trim. The IS convertible will have three interior trim
color options, including two new color combinations. In addition to
black leather interior, a new alabaster color is joined by a
distinctive alabaster/blue contrast trim.
Dynamic Driving Performance
IS250C and IS350C provide a consistent blend of driving performance and
comfort in either convertible or coupe configuration. They share common
double-wishbone front and multi-link rear suspension systems with the
IS sport sedan models.
The double-wishbone front suspension received a number of changes to
provide the handling stability and ride comfort required for a
convertible. The torsional rigidity of the suspension bushings was
optimized, as was the spring constant on the coil springs, and the
shock absorber damping force. The stabilizer shape and the Electric
Power Steering (EPS) gear ratio were also revised to help provide
The multi-link rear suspension also received similar changes to
suspension bushings, coil springs and shock-damping force. In addition,
the rear-suspension tower was lowered with enhanced rigidity to help
provide rear control and linear yaw response; it also provides improved
Performance Oriented Drivetrains
The IS convertible models feature the same powertrains as the IS
sedans. The IS 350C’s 3.5-liter V6 delivers exhilarating performance
with outstanding 306 horsepower at 6,400 RPM along with 277 lb.-ft. of
torque at 4,800 rpm. The IS 250C’s 2.5-liter V6 engine has a great
combination of fuel efficiency and performance. The IS 250C’s V6
produces 204 horsepower at 6,400 RPM and 185 lb.-ft. of peak torque at
4,800 rpm. Both engines utilize aluminum cylinder blocks and heads,
while employing dual Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i),
which controls timing on both the intake and exhaust camshafts.
A direct-type fuel-injection system provides a cooling effect in the
cylinders, enabling the high compression needed to extract maximum
energy from the fuel. Aside from its larger displacement, the 3.5-liter
V6 differs chiefly in that it augments the direct fuel injection with
port fuel injectors. In light- and medium-load conditions, these
additional injectors help produce a precise burn, increasing power and
efficiency, while reducing emissions. A dual exhaust system reduces
backpressure at higher engine speeds. Like IS sedans, the IS250C and
IS350C meet the Ultra-Low Emission Vehicle II (ULEV II) certification.
An advanced six-speed automatic transmission with
steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters is standard on the IS 350. The
IS 250 comes with either a six-speed manual transmission or the
paddle-shift, six-speed automatic transmission.
Easy Access Utility & Comfort
new IS convertible emphasizes easy access and rear-seat comfort. In
addition to front doors that are 11.8 inches longer than the IS sedans,
two convenient fold-forward lock-release levers are standard on both
sides of the front passenger seats, making it easier to operate from
any location inside the vehicle. In addition, the passenger seat
features a power slide button on the top of the seatback to ease rear
seat ingress/egress. An available new automatic one-touch, easy-entry
power-seat mechanism provides even easier egress and ingress through
quick-acting, front-seat fold-and-slide activation. The two passenger
doors also have three open-stopping positions (rather than the normal
two) to add convenience in various parking situations with different
spacing between vehicles. The IS C also is equipped with a standard
power tilt and telescoping steering column to help the driver quickly
get into a comfortable position.
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. When any IS model is
also equipped with the optional navigation system, information on
objects detected in the rear are shown in greater detail on that
system’s seven-inch display via the backup camera.
The optional Pre-Collision System (PCS) is packaged with Dynamic
Radar Cruise Control, which uses millimeter-wave radar to measure and
help maintain a set distance from a vehicle traveling ahead. PCS relies
on the radar sensor to detect obstacles in front of the car, and a PCS
computer with sensor inputs from vehicle speed, steering angle and yaw
rate is designed to determine whether a collision is unavoidable. In
such a situation, PCS alerts the driver via sound and visual warnings
while preemptively retracting front seat belts and pre-initializing
Brake Assist so that increased braking will be applied the instant the
driver depresses the pedal.
Standard Hill-start Assist Control helps prevent the vehicle from
moving backward when the driver moves their foot from brake pedal to
the accelerator. The system will also be available for the first time
with the manual transmission.
The standard Lexus Premium Audio System features a six-disc, in-dash
CD changer, and eight speakers. An equalizer system maintains the same
acoustic field when the top is either open or closed, compensating for
the natural loss of bass sounds when open. In addition to the 1/8th-inch
audio mini jack on the IS sedan, the IS convertible will also have a
standard USB connector in the center console for interface with an iPod
that will not only play the music on the device, it will display
information on the navigation screen such as artist, album and song
Bluetooth Audio wireless connectivity is another new feature available for those customers with compatible devices. Standard XM
satellite radio (subscription required) offers a wide variety of
programming, while standard hands-free voice recognition and Bluetooth technology for models without optional navigation allow phone calls to be made and received while driving.
Lexus’ latest Hard-Disk Drive (HDD) navigation system, with a new
set-up display and increased audio-display tabs, is available on the IS
convertible and is complete with a seven-inch VGA touch-screen, back-up
camera, and XM NavTraffic and NavWeather (subscription
required). The navigation system also includes as standard on all
navigation-equipped IS convertibles Lexus’ latest voice recognition
system, Voice Command, which builds upon the previous-generation
system’s functionality, adding more spoken-command flexibility. With
Voice Command users avoid having to speak commands in a specific order
(e.g., Phone > Dial by Name > Dial Bob). Now this same task can
be completed simply by saying, Call Bob at home. The Voice Command
system also works to control many functions of the audio system,
heating and air conditioning, and the navigation system. Commands such
as, Make it cooler, Let’s find XM channel 46, Show me Japanese
restaurants, and need a gas station, make tasks easier to
accomplish, in fewer steps, and help allow drivers to focus more on the
road ahead. A Mark Levinson Premium Surround Sound Audio
system, exclusive to Lexus, is available in conjunction with the
optional navigation system. This 12-speaker audio system features
discrete 5.1 multi-channel playback with 5.1-channel speaker
architecture. Its 10 amplifier channels provide 270 watts total output
at 0.1 percent total harmonic distortion (THD). From 20-20,000hz, the
Mark Levinson system plays conventional CDs and specially encoded DVD
audio and DVD video discs, plus MP3/WMA-formatted CD-R/RW and DVD-R/RW.
DVD movies can be viewed on the optional navigation system’s seven-inch
color touch screen when the parking brake is engaged.
Lexus Safety & Security
Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management System (VDIM) governs all of the
vehicle’s dynamic handling systems the Anti-lock Braking System
(ABS), Brake Assist, Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) and Traction
Control (TRAC) employing them collectively and seamlessly to make
corrections while helping provide higher dynamic capability. VDIM also
interfaces with the electronic throttle control system.
The IS convertible features large, ventilated four-wheel disc brakes
with Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake force
Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist. The IS350C is equipped with
13.15-inch front and 12.20-inch rear rotors with aluminum four-piston
front calipers to aid in heat dissipation and stopping power and reduce
unsprung weight. The IS250C has 11.65-inch front and 12.20-inch rear
Passive-safety technology begins with a number of body-structure
changes integrated in the IS250C and IS350C to help augment strength
and torsional rigidity. Seatbelt pre-tensioners and force limiters are
used for the front seats, while the rear seats adopt emergency locking
retractor seatbelts with an automatic locking retractor.
In addition to the dual-front airbags, the Lexus Supplemental
Restraint System (SRS) for the IS convertible includes new enlarged
front-seat-mounted head and torso side airbags, and knee airbags for
both the driver and the front passenger. The front-passenger airbag
features two chambers, creating an indentation in the center impact
area that helps to provide overall occupant protection.
The available High Intensity Discharge (HID) headlamps paired with
the Adaptive Front-lighting System (AFS) helps to illuminate a curve as
the driver steers into it.
The standard SmartAccess keyless entry and push-button-start/stop
allows the driver to keep the access key FOB in a pocket or purse. The
standard HomeLink programmable garage door opener also operates home security devices and other systems.
F-Sport Performance Accessories Available for IS C
IS C F-Sport Performance Accessories will include performance enhancing
parts such as 19-inch forged alloy wheels, brake upgrades, suspension
systems, air intake, exhaust systems and more. F-Sport Performance
Accessories by Lexus USA are engineered by Toyota Racing Development
(TRD). When installed by an authorized dealer, the accessories are
fully warranted for 12 months or for the balance of the new car
warranty, whichever is greater. Parts for the IS C will be on sale upon
the IS’s launch.
new Lexus vehicles come with a 48-month/50,000-mile basic limited
warranty with roadside assistance for 48-months/unlimited miles.
Powertrain and restraint system coverage is provided for 72
months/70,000 miles. Corrosion perforation protection is covered for 72
months, regardless of mileage.
The 2010 IS250C will have a MSRP of
$38,490 when equipped with a six-speed manual transmission; the IS250C
with a six-speed automatic transmission will be $39,660. The IS350C
will have a MSRP of $43,940. MSRP does not include a delivery,
processing and handling fee of $875.
Credit: Lexus USA
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