Look at moiye!

We take an in-depth look at the hits and misses of Lexus' IS250C convertible.

Nothing gets bystanders gawking more than transforming a car from coupe to convertible and back again.

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Front up

Everything forward of the windscreen is practically shared with the IS250C's sedan sibling, the IS250 .

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Big butts don't lie

The need to accommodate a folding hard roof in the boot robs the IS250C of the elegance of the sedan .

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Trim

As with the sedan , the IS250C comes in three grades: Prestige, Sports and Sports Luxury.

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Transform!

Going from coupe to convertible or vice versa takes 21 seconds of quiet brilliance.

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Mass, part I

The IS250C weighs some 170kg more than its sedan counterpart .

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Quick, light up

The IS250 sedan misses out on al fresco motoring, as well as LED tail-lights.

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Mass, part II

The weight gain is thanks to the electric motors required to retract the roof, as well as various structural reinforcements to make up for the lack of a roof.

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Mass, part III

The extra mass means the engine needs to be worked quite a lot harder, to the detriment of fuel economy.

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Mass, part IV

The IS250C handles sweetly, but the extra weight can be felt in tighter corners.

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Sole survivor

With the recent demise of the SC430, the IS250C is Lexus' sole convertible option.

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Winging it

The wing mirrors feature LED indicators.

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On with the show

Projector headlamps are standard across the range, but only the top-of-the-range Sports Luxury model has xenon bulbs.

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Sweet 17

The entry-level Prestige comes fitted with 17-inch alloy wheels, higher specified models get 18-inch ones.

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Drive it

Unlike convertibles from Mercedes, BMW and Audi, there's only one drivetrain choice: a 2.5-litre V6 sending power to the rear wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission.

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The place to be

The interior design is largely lifted from the sedan .

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Field of view

We had no issues looking through the windscreen, but drivers taller than our 165cm may find themselves looking under, at and around the thick windscreen pillars.

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Up front

Front-seat accommodation is on par with the sedan .

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Out back

Rear passengers rely on the generosity of those up front for leg room.

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Sit upright

Passengers at the back sit almost upright. Shoulder room is restricted as the passenger cell arcs tightly around.

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Headrests, part I

Now you see them...

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Headrests, part II

...now they no longer block the driver's view aft. A simple latch between the two rear seats brings the headrests crashing down.

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Thop thop

To stop the rear seat belts flapping about, they can be secured in place by magnetic fasteners.

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Plushie

The plush white leather evoked thoughts of multimillion-dollar mansions with water views.

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Butt sir, part I

With the roof up, the boot will swallow 550 litres worth of stuff.

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Butt sir, part II

Before the roof can be folded down, the driver must manually set the luggage divider in place. That way the roof won't crush your precious belongings.

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Butt sir, part III

Roof down boot capacity shrinks to just over 200 litres.

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Butt sir, part IV

The double-hinged boot is heavy.

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Spare me

A space-saver spare tyre lives under the boot floor.

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Clash of the fonts

The "classy" serif fonts clash with the old-school LCD clock.

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Hold it

Lift or press the centre button to close or open the roof; your finger must be kept there for the entire duration of the process. The button on the left activates a heating element for the windscreen wipers.

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Stop it

The standard rear-parking sensors will call a halt to proceedings if a car or person gets too close to the double-hinged boot.

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Hey you

The car won't stop you from driving away with the roof job half done, but it'll lodge a formal protest.

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Parking mentor

The reversing camera is accompanied by front- and rear-parking sensors.

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Cruise on by

Cruise control is easy to operate via this wand, but the singular dashboard light only tells you when the system is on, not whether you've set a cruising speed.

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Strong, silent type

The only engine choice is an eerily silent, incredibly smooth 2.5-litre V6 with 153kW of power and 252Nm of torque.

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Partial control

The gear lever will only let you set a maximum gear for the automatic transmission (fourth gear in this instance).

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Your flappiness

The standard flappy paddles are a good way of shifting down in a hurry.

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Seat heaters

Your neck may be cold, but your bum can certainly stay warm.

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Tilt and shout

The front seats electrically tilt and slide forward so rear passengers can enter and alight the car.

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Optitron prime

The IS250C 's instrument cluster features Lexus' bright and clear "optitron" lighting.

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Info please

The LCD display between the speedo and tacho can display important warning messages, average speed, fuel consumption info, estimated distance to empty and the current gear.

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The future's orange

Both the speedo and tacho can be configured to glow a shade of orange if a threshold road or engine speed is breached.

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Climate change, part I

Without any knobs, the standard dual-zone climate control system is difficult to operate by touch alone.

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Climate change, part II

Matters aren't helped by the fact that you need to dive into the touchscreen menus to adjust fan speed or where the air's coming from.

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Upgrade

Lexus has fitted an upgraded version of the touchscreen interface to the latest batch of IS250Cs . The look is very reminiscent of the one used in the company's Remote Touch -equipped cars.

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Navigation, part I

Despite the upgrade there's still no 3D perspective.

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Navigation, part II

Lane guidance isn't available, but the system does give you a close view of the upcoming turn.

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Music options, part I

A six-disc CD changer resides in the dashboard.

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Music options, part II

Joy of joys, the IS250C comes equipped with an auxiliary jack and an iPod-compatible USB port.

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Wheely?

Steering wheel audio controls are easy to use, but there's no mute button.

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Talk it up

Bluetooth hands-free works well with the roof up, but voice commands are limited to five phone book voice tags.

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