Wednesday, October 1, 2014


The current 2014 IS 250C, and IS 350C convertibles on sale are not on the new IS platform introduced a year ago. Rather, they are cosmetically refreshed versions of the IS convertibles that first went on sale in the US in late 2009 as 2010 models. Just before these convertibles were introduced the IS line entered its second generation. There were a few years of IS 250 and IS 350 cars in the second generation before the IS convertibles appeared. That could happen again, but Lexus has no real reason to create a gap. It could simply make enough of the current style to sell through 2016.

The current IS 250C and IS 350C cars are coupes. They have two doors, and they are hard-tops. They also don’t share many body panels with the sedans. The front of the cars and the windshields are different. It just makes sense for Lexus to move the coupe convertibles to the RC family, which of course, are coupes. 

Will they have the hard-top convertible roofs? Hard to tell, but all prior Lexus convertibles have. The SC convertibles had the hard-tops as the IS models now do. The flip side of the obvious advantages to a hard-top convertible is packaging. A soft-top takes up less space. They are also less prone to rattling and are lighter. Although the current IS convertible top is made from aluminum to keep weight manageable.

The RC 200C and RC 350C will launch in 2016. They will possibly be 2017 model year vehicles. By then the Lexus “250” engine will have been retired, and the new “200 turbo” will have become the base engine in the IS and RC line. It will quickly become the most popular engine as the 250 is now. Due to its torque, and because the IS 250C is the sale leader, Lexus might just go with that one engine. Hopefully, Lexus will add the larger brakes that the “350” models enjoy since they do make a big difference.

Lexus could even skip the 3.5-liter V6 and make just a ‘200 turbo" and RC FC. Lexus had a V8 convertible for sale for about 8 years (SC 430 from 2002 to about 2010). So anyone counting out a V8 RC convertible from Lexus may want to look back and reconsider. A convertible RC FC might be an attractive alternative to the BMW 335i convertible, and even the mighty M4 convertible. Truthfully, the M4 is a race car.

In the coming months, we should know more. Lexus needs either to announce the 2015 will continue on as the IS convertible or make some announcement that it is being discontinued.

No comments:

Post a Comment