Featuring a three-panel roof that opens in just 20 seconds, the new IS 250C and IS 350C provide the spirited sophistication of a convertible and the sporty styling of a coupe. The three-panel roof structure is primarily constructed of lightweight aluminium that helps achieve smooth, quiet retraction; it also helps provide compact packaging and convenient luggage space. With the exception of the hood, all other body panels have been designed to blend seamlessly with the new three-panel folding roof.
Powered by the same powertrain as the IS sedans, the IS 250C features a 2.5-litre, 204 hp V6 mated to a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission; the IS 350C contains a 3.5-litre, 306 hp V6 with a six-speed automatic. Revisions to the body structure and suspension provide torsional stiffness and ride comfort with the top down, and low Noise, Vibration and Harshness (NVH) on par with the IS sedan when in coupe configuration.
The IS 250C and IS 350C’s new exterior design provides dynamic, unique styling when interchanging between convertible and coupe configurations. A sleek aerodynamic design and a collection of underbody covers help achieve its lowest possible drag coefficient – 0.29 Cd versus the IS sedan’s 0.27 Cd – while creating minimal wind turbulence in the cabin.
In the front, a new fog-lamp design is integrated in the revised front air dam. The rear overhang increases by two inches to improve luggage space, providing storage for two golf bags in coupe configuration and one in a convertible. New combination tail-lamp clusters feature LED lights; a LED brake light is integrated within the standard rear spoiler.
The interior maintains the innovation and luxury touch points associated with the IS sport sedans, while new comfort and entertainment features provide a consistent atmosphere regardless of top configuration. Instrument gauges have been revised to help increase visibility during top-down driving, and the climate-control system has a speed-sensitive control feature that automatically increases air flow when the top is down while also automatically adjusting to vehicle speed.
With a four-seat configuration, the IS 250C and IS 350C’s rear seats feature a center console with built-in cup holders. In addition to front doors that are 11.8 inches longer than the IS sedans, an available new one-touch automatic mechanism provides easier egress and ingress through quick-acting, front-seat fold-and-slide activation. Rear-seat comfort is enhanced by shifting seat position inboard, providing improved headroom. The front seat backs are configured to also provide better rear-seat legroom.
A number of body-structure changes have been integrated into the IS 250C and IS 350C to augment strength, roll-over protection and torsional rigidity. Active safety features from the IS sedans transfer as well, including Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM), Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), and an available Pre-Collision System (PCS). The Safety Restraint System (SRS) will include the twin-chamber passenger airbag, while a new enlarged seat-mounted side airbag helps provide additional protection in certain side-impact scenarios. The convertible body shell has additional energy absorbing side-impact materials that also help protect front and rear passengers.