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24919A number of 2nd-generation Lexus IS fans in the U.S. may bemoan its lack of special editions such as the <A HREF="">2003</A> and <A HREF="">2004 IS 300 SportDesign</A> and Japan's current <A HREF="">IS 250 X-Edition</A>, while others may complain that the <A HREF="">F-Sport and Version F trim packages available in Europe, Japan and Canada</A> haven't made their way to the States. Fortunately, Lexus has now addressed these complaints with the 2010 IS 350C F-Sport Special Edition of the carmaker's newest retractable-hardtop convertible. Inspired by the Obsidian (black) IS 350C pre-production prototype equipped with the full suite of F-Sport accessories that we sampled at <A HREF="">the IS C Press Preview in Newport Beach, California</A>, the IS 350C F-Sport Special Edition nevertheless features a couple of distinctive aesthetic touches of its own, namely a special F-Sport grille (presumably replacing the standard vertical upper grille bars with a zigzag mesh pattern reminiscent of the IS F and the F-Sport package IS sedans available in other markets, as shown at the bottom right of this article) and unique 19-inch forged alloy wheels with the 10-spoke snowflake pattern first seen at the <A HREF="">2009 SEMA Show</A> on the Vibrance Orange Glow Kandy IS 350C F-Sport by TRD (shown at the top of this story). Unfortunately, that burnt orange color is not available on the IS 350C F-Sport Special Edition. In quasi-Henry Ford fashion, you can have any exterior color as long as it's Obsidian (black) or Tungsten Pearl (silver).

Step inside and you'll find black leather-trimmed seats with sporty blue contrast stitching, as well as floor mats and leather-wrapped shift knob adorned with the F-Sport logo. Other Special Edition standard features include heated and ventilated front seats with wood trim; Bi-Xenon HID headlamps with Adaptive Front lighting System; headlamp washers; and Lexus Navigation, which includes a hard disk drive (HDD), Bluetooth, a rear back-up camera, Voice Command casual-language voice recognition system, XM satellite radio services (including a complimentary 90-day trial subscription) and Lexus Enform with Safety Connect telematics system (including a complimentary one-year trial subscription).

26173Lest you think this is merely a trim-and-badge package, fear not, for the F-Sport name is justified by far more than floor mats and a shift knob. Also included are F-Sport upgraded front and rear brakes, Bilstein shock absorbers, lowering springs that reduce the ride height approximately 1" front and rear, and sway bar set right out of the F-Sport accessories catalog, but already pre-installed and included in the vehicle price. Said Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price, by the way, is $57,500, plus a delivery, processing and handling fee of $875. This is actually more of a bargain than it appears at first glance, since the sum of the IS 350C base MSRP of $44,890, plus the Navigation and Luxury Packages included in this Special Edition plus the F-Sport accessories listed above is $59,925, excluding the Michelin Pilot Sport 225/35ZR19 front tires and 255/35ZR19 rear tires you'd have to get on your own and the installation of said F-Sport accessories you'd have to otherwise deal with. We recommend you hurry if you're seriously interested, though, for Lexus is only making 100 of them for the United States (and, yes, the requisite exterior badging and individually numbered badge on the center console are included). As Mark Templin, Lexus Division group vice president and general manager reminds us in <A HREF="">a Press Release in the Lexus USA Newsroom</A>, “The IS 350C F-Sport Special Edition is a unique package of style and excitement. With only 100 units available nationwide they’ll sell out fast to customers who want power, performance and a little more fun under the sun.”

Our thanks to Allison Takahashi of Lexus Public Relations for bringing this story to our attention.


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