Let’s face it, when you think about passionate car brands, Lexus is not the first to come to mind. Among luxury marques, Ferrari, BMW, possibly Audi will immediately pop into your head. Toyota’s luxury division is all about quality, reliability and, well, the brand you think of for folks who like reliable automotive appliances.
At least, that’s how things were for much of the maker’s first two decades. The flagship Lexus LS is a perfect example. It’s loaded with luxury features and routinely wins the quality awards, but it’s certainly no 7-Series when it comes to spirited driving.
Enter the IS, the entry-luxury sedan first launched in 2000, and updated five years later. It’s steadily morphing into a car that, while not quite yet the match of a 3-er, certainly can be described as “spirited.” Last year’s launch of the V-8-powered IS-F boosted the nameplate’s bona fides. Now comes the 2010 Lexus IS250C and IS350C convertibles. (more…)