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Auto Show:  2011 Sema Auto Show

Lexus IS350C by VIP Auto Salon - SEMA Auto Show


author photo by Jeffrey Archer November 2011

While tuner Five Axis is responsible for several modified Lexus models at this year's SEMA show in Las Vegas, the automaker also provided California-based VIP Auto Salon with an IS350C convertible to upgrade for the event. The result is a heavily tuned version of the midsize convertible that features enhancements to its exterior, interior and - best of all - under its hood.

The most striking exterior modification to the VIP Auto Salon IS350C is its "chameleon" paint, which changes color under different lighting. While it appears dark blue under the bright lights at the Las Vegas Convention Center, press photos show us that it looks light blue under direct sunlight - and in some angles, it can even appear purple or black.

That's not to say the IS350C's other exterior modifications are unnoticed. Further upgrades include a carbon fiber aero styling package that features a front lip spoiler, a rear trunk spoiler and a rear diffuser, sporty custom headlight housings, and a carbon fiber hood. Also included is Huper Optik ceramic film, which protects the valuable paint job from rock chips, parking lot dings or scratches.

Inside, VIP Auto Salon also decked out the IS350C, adding custom seat inserts fabricated by Top Stitch and a series of F Sport accessories straight from Lexus including a carbon fiber shift knob, a carbon fiber engine cover and F Sport floor mats.

But while the modified IS350C certainly appears striking, its biggest upgrade is under the hood. There, VIP Auto Salon fitted a bolt-on supercharger, which brings peak power to a brawny 386 horses and torque to 372 pound-feet. The modifications are further enjoyed through an added sports exhaust, which provides an aggressive sound under hard acceleration, and upgraded brakes and suspension, which increase performance during serious driving.

While the tuned IS350C is designed as a one-off concept, it's also intended to provide young buyers with some ideas about future projects. But although the VIP Auto Salon build is certainly striking, we might hold off on the supercharger until the warranty expires.

See more coverage of the 2011 SEMA Auto Show.

JEFFREY ARCHER is fortunate to have turned a passion for cars into a career. His wide-ranging automotive experience includes work for automakers and dealers in addition to covering the news. When not writing, he spends his time searching for unique cars on AutoTrader.com.
This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Lexus IS350C by VIP Auto Salon - SEMA Auto Show - Autotrader