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The Lexus IS F convertible mule has been spotted testing at the Nurburgring, refueling speculation that the Japanese luxury manufacturer is set to launch a rival to the BMW M3 convertible..

Since its international launch in 2008, the Lexus IS F sedan has taken on the BMW M3, Mercedes-Benz C 63 AMG and the Audi RS4. It also launched Lexus’ foray into the premium sport car category, which eventually expanded to include the F-Sport line and the Lexus LFA supercar.

The Lexus IS-F is powered by a Yamaha tuned 5.0-litre V8 with 311kW of power and 505Nm of torque. It can go from 0 to 100km/h in 4.9 seconds and Lexus used it to showcase an eight-speed automatic transmission.

We suspect the convertible will have the same specifications but with the additional weight of the folding roof and chassis reinforcements. If we take the IS 250 sedan and IS 250 convertible as comparison, the convertible adds a further 180kg of weight, so we suspect the IS F convertible to be at least 0.1 of a second slower to 100km/h.

As the pictures reveal, this convertible mule is sporting all the tell-tell signs of an IS F underneath. Be it in the front bumper, the wider wheel arches or quad exhaust pipes, it’s either Lexus undergoing final preparations for an IS F convertible launch or a couple of bored engineers having some fun.

The introduction of a Lexus IS F convertible so late into the current IS life cycle is somewhat puzzling. No doubt that Lexus will keep the IS F model running past the introduction of the all-new IS next year (as did BMW with the M3 and the new 3 series), but the current car was first seen in 2005.

Do you think Lexus should launch an IS-F convertible in this current model cycle or wait for the new one? At the very least, we hope they don’t go with that spoiler!




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