Lexus' latest salvo in its quest for luxury dominance comes in the form of a three-panel aluminum roof that retracts in 21 seconds. Like their sedan
counterparts, the Lexus IS
250C and IS 350C convertibles
will feature 204- and 306-horsepower V6 engines, respectively, and the IS 250C will offer a six-speed manual transmission in addition to the six-speed automatic available on both variants. With the top up, Lexus says its new convertibles demonstrate "Lexus-like" solidity on par with that of the sedan. Cool touches include a climate-control system that boosts air flow when the top is down and also adjusts to vehicle speed. The instruments have also been revised to increase visibility in direct sunlight. As for the golf bag test, the trunk is capable of holding two bags with the top up, one with the top down. Look for the 2009 Lexus IS
250C and IS 350C convertibles in the late spring of 2009, at prices that might start in the mid-$30,000 range.