Details and pricing of the 2011 IS 350C F Sport Special Edition were recently revealed by the North American division of Lexus. Set to arrive at nationwide dealerships later this month, this special edition model has a price tag of $55,120 (excluding the $875 handling and processing fee). Two exterior colors are available: Starfire Pearl and Obsidian.
Only 175 units will be produced of this model. The car’s interior features black and red semi-aniline leather-trimmed seats with sporty red stitching.
Also offered as standard features are the heated and ventilated front seats with wood trim and Lexus Navigation. Mark Templin, Lexus Division group vice president and general manager, said that the F Sport Special Edition builds on the IS 350C and turns up the fun factor of this convertible. He said that the racing inspired F Sport accessories on this car were precision engineered specifically for this vehicle, enabling the company to offer “performance without compromise.”
Some of the features included by this special edition, are: 19-inch forged alloy wheels with dark graphite finish and Michelin Pilot Sport 225/35ZR19 tires in the front and 255/35ZR19 tires in the rear; Shock set developed in cooperation with Bilstein; Lowering springs that reduce the ride height approximately one-inch in the front and rear resulting in a more aggressive appearance and lower center of gravity; Sway bar set that helps reduce body roll and provide flatter cornering; Bi-Xenon High Intensity Headlamps with LED Daytime Running Lights; exterior badging and a Special Build 2011 interior badge on the center console complete the uniqueness of this vehicle.
While the Lexus IS models offer a sporty driving experience, they deliver a smooth, quiet ride. The double-wishbone suspension at the front and multi-link suspension at the rear use extra-strength aluminum and steel parts to minimize unsprung weight. Higher quality monotube shock-absorbers incorporate multi-leaf linear control valves to improve damping force and internal rebound springs, resulting to firmer body control without reducing ride comfort.
The IS 250 and IS 350 come with the all-wheel-drive system that offers additional traction in different driving situations. A planetary gear-type center differential and wet-type multiple-disc clutch both manage front and rear power distribution. Usually, the system sends 70% of existing power to the rear wheels to give the advantages of a rear-drive car’s performance as well as a change in the torque-split ratio from 30:70 to 50:50 to respond to driver input and conditions.
The electronic-control strategy of the AWD system takes inputs like throttle angle and steering from driver activity along with vehicle signals from yaw rate sensors and wheel speed. Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management or VDIM assists the traction and stability of IS models. VDIM is more advanced than other systems of stability and traction and is designed to anticipate the encounter of a vehicle skid or slide and help fix the situation by combining throttle and braking control.
Integrating the VDIM gives accurate management for Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BA), Electric Power Steering (EPS), engine torque (through the electronically controlled throttle) and Vehicle Stability Control (VSC). The driver can disconnect VSC by using the "TRAC off" switch, which can come handy in some situations. The brake system of the Lexus IS 350 is outfitted with larger ventilated rotors at the front and rear plus aluminum-made four piston front calipers.
The car comes standard with all-season performance tires: 225/45R17 for the front and 245/45R17 for the rear (225/45R17 for IS 250 and IS 350 AWD). Wheels are also available in 18 inches. A durable passenger compartment, with crush structures for the front and rear, provide protection for the occupants. Seatbelts with force limiter and pretensioner are installed at the front and rear seats.
Aside from the sophisticated front seat-mounted airbags at the sides and dual-front airbags, the Supplemental Restraint System or SRS for the IS comes with side-curtain airbags that expand from A-pillar to C-pillar as well as a knee airbag for the front passenger and driver. The front passenger airbag has two chambers that create an impression in the middle impact area that gives overall protection to the passengers.
High Intensity Discharge (HID) headlamps plus LED daytime running lamps are optional with the Lexus IS 250. Lexus IS 350 models have standard HID headlamps plus LED daytime running lamps as well as headlamp washers. A back-up camera at the rear that includes the optional navigation system, automatically projects the image detected by its lens behind the car into the navigation screen once the transmission is in reverse.
The mirrors outside include turn signals An optional Intuitive Park Assist or IPA system makes use of ultrasonic sensors to alert the driver of objects near the front and rear bumpers, to make the driver alert and show the space between the objects and car in the multi-information display in the speedometer. IS models integrated with the optional navigation system can view detected object information in greater detail on the 7-inch touch screen display.