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15642An undisclosed German-language car magazine has posted this picture of what it claims is a prototype of the upcoming Lexus IS retractable-hardtop convertible. We'll take them at their word, and accept the obvious 18" 2nd-gen IS wheels as evidence. The original full image, which was brought to our attention by my.IS member maxim303, in <A HREF="http://my.is/forums/f87/convertible-spy-photo-354379/">a General Discussion thread he started,</A> contains some information. Unfortunately, this author's knowledge of German is virtually zero, but the "177 bis zu 423" coincides with the IS 220d's 177 hp rating, and the IS F's 423 hp rating, so expect the full gamut of Lexus IS powerplants to be offered (although the 2.2-liter diesel will still be Europe-only).

As to the final "IS dürfte Ende 2009 sein", an Internet German-to-English translator tells us that it won't go on sale until the end of 2009, presumably as a 2010 model year debut. While this meshes quite well with all the talk we've heard about 2008 being a "quiet year" for Lexus except for the late-year (or even early 2009) reveal of the 3rd-generation RX, it underscores how "out-of-whack" the IS retractable-hardtop convertible's reveal would be compared to the 2nd-generation IS sedan's. This new body style would appear a full four years after its 4-door progenitor went on sale. By contrast, the retractable-hardtop convertible version of the E90 BMW 3-series went on sale barely two years after its sedan counterpart.

Common sense suggests one of two solutions to this conundrum. The first possibility is that, rather than seriously trailing the 2nd-generation IS sedan, the 2-door would, in fact, lead the 3rd-generation IS. This would imply a very evolutionary change from the second to third generation of the sedan, much like the transition from first to second generation of the Infiniti G35/37, as well as a 5-year cycle for the 2nd-generation IS sedan. The second possibility is that this may, in fact, be a test mule for the 3rd-generation Lexus SC, which could also see the light of day around that end of 2009 time frame.

Our thanks also go out to Club Lexus' moderator GFerg (for first finding this significant story) and member krew for the enlarged version of the photo that illustrates this article. And if anyone with a knowledge of the German language cares to translate the brief article to the right of the photo in <A HREF="http://my.is/forums/f87/convertible-spy-photo-354379/">the General Discussion thread</A> (my.IS' Roadside Assistance moderator SeattleSheila comes to mind), in case we missed something important, we would be eternally grateful.
 

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I knew they were eventually going to come out with a coupe version of the IS. Or, it's about time the SC got a facelift.
 

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Nice, hopefully they can make it look like a normal coupe (not knowing it's a convertible when the top is up).
 

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Just when you thought the SC430 couldn't get any more irrelevant.
 

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Just throwing out an idea here...no basis to this at all, but is it possible that this could be a new SC430 cloaked in IS sheet metal?

Remember, before the LF-A was publicly unveiled... it was actually going around the Nürburgring wearing Toyota Crown sheet metal. It was obviously not a Toyota Crown, though... because a large chunk in the middle was cut out and the wheelbase was ridiculously short for a sedan.
 

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Just throwing out an idea here...no basis to this at all, but is it possible that this could be a new SC430 cloaked in IS sheet metal?
That is, indeed, a viable possibility that cannot be discarded, and one that I mention in the article.
 

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If they do a good job with the hardtop, it'll be a two-door IS with the top up, should be very interesting... I dont think an SC would be disguised in IS sheet-metal. Let's not forget it's just an SC, not the LF-A nor the Supra.
 
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