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Lexus adds F Sport to IS250C drop-top

Raising the roof: The next Lexus F Sport variant in Australia will be the IS250C folding hardtop convertible.

First Lexus F Sport convertible arrives with IS250C, priced from $82,300


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23 Oct 2012

LEXUS has applied its F Sport treatment to the IS250C folding hardtop convertible, arriving in showrooms next month priced from $82,300 plus on-road costs – $1000 more than the Sports model it supersedes.

Coinciding with the introduction of the first convertible to get the F Sport treatment, all models in the IS convertible range will receive an upgraded infotainment system, with enhancements to satellite navigation, voice control, Bluetooth and audio capabilities.

The usual F Sport cosmetic enhancements have been applied to the convertible, including 10-spoke dark-coloured 18-inch alloy wheels, mesh grille and lower lip spoiler with F Sport foglights.

In the cabin are black leather seats with contrasting perforations and stitching, black roof lining, and F Sport steering wheel, gear selector knob and sill plates.

An uprated suspension tune is claimed to “deliver more precise handling” and includes unique bushings and rear stabiliser, plus tweaked damper settings and spring rates.

The performance-oriented F Sport line has been a success for Lexus in Australia, accounting for almost a half of IS350 sedan sales and a third of CT200h compact hatch sales.

F Sport has also been introduced on the GS luxury sedan and RX SUV models and will be added to the new-generation LS limousine when it launches in Australia before the end of this year, giving local Lexus customers a choice of 11 F Sport variants.

Customers buying the new IS250C F Sport will also be offered a $6000 package of extras including pre-collision safety system, adaptive cruise control and a premium Mark Levinson sound system.

Meanwhile, the all-new third-generation IS due in 2013 was previewed by the LF-CC coupe concept at the Paris motor show last month.

Lexus Australia chief executive Tony Cramb said he was keen to get the new IS into local showrooms.

Mr Cramb said the production IS will be revealed early next year, suggesting it will debut at the Detroit motor show in mid-January, and said he would “like to think” a hybrid variant will be sold in Australia this time around.

Australian sales of the IS250C are down 30.7 per cent to the end of September this year, with 167 finding homes, while the IS250 and IS350 sedan are down 15.9 per cent and 21 per cent respectively.

However, strong growth for the CT200H, GS and RX contributed to an overall increase of 8.4 per cent for Lexus, slightly behind the industry average of 9.4 per cent.

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