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Lexus at the Paris motor show 2008

Thu, 02 Oct 2008 00:00:00 -0700

By Gavin Green

Motor Shows

02 October 2008 20:08

A coupe/cabriolet version of the appealing IS250 was Lexus’s highlight at Paris. Its three-piece folding metal roof completes its gymnastics in just 20 seconds before folding flat in the cavernous boot. All very well, but the ugly rear end totally undermines any showroom appeal.

It further expands the range of Lexus’s 3-series rival, following the launch of the high performance IS-F. So now we have sedan, M3-rivalling V8-powered F and this two-door drophead. It uses the same smooth-revving 2.5 as the normal IS and rear room isn’t too bad, considering the vast amount of folded roof metal stored behind when it’s in open-air mode. Rear seat access, similarly, isn’t bad.

Such a shame the back-end is so ill-proportioned! Especially when the nose of the IS is so svelte, probably the handsomest snout in the small sports saloon segment. It’s almost like a cut-and-shut: as though the arse-end of the wrong car has been welded on.

The whole IS range is revised – although you’d never know it. Diesel emissions are reduced for the 220d and suspension, steering and brakes are all supposedly improved.

The top-range LS460 now comes with an all-wheel drive option and a new crossover concept, the LF-Xh, is a 4x4 hybrid (using a V6 and two electric motors). It’s a distinctive sculptural piece of automotive art, complete with fashionable all-black paintjob.

The new IS 250C extends the appeal of the smallest Lexus. Pity the styling is so disjointed.

CAR's Lexus stand score: 3/5

Click here for up to the minute Paris motor show 2008 live reports

Click here for the previews and review: Guide to all cars


By Gavin Green