|Crown Royal Saloon G (Hybrid model, rear-wheel drive with options). Click to enlarge.|
Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) launched in Japan the redesigned Crown Royal and Crown Athlete sedans; production of a new hybrid version of the sedan will begin in late January 2013. The original Crown made its debut in 1955; the new release represents the 14th generation.
Toyota, which had originally introduced a mild-hybrid version of the Crown in 2001, first introduced a full-hybrid model based on a THS (Toyota Hybrid System) II system in 2008. (Earlier post.) All major components in the Crown series have been updated, including a new 2.5-liter hybrid system, a matured suspension, and new technology and devices such as the Toyota Multi-Operation Touch, which consolidates various vehicle functions into one touch panel.
The monthly sales target for Japan is 4,000 units.
Powertrain. The new, exclusive rear-wheel-drive hybrid system combines a 2.5-liter, 4-cylinder inline Atkinson cycle engine featuring next-generation D-4S4 technology with a high-torque motor to provide the drive performance of a 3.0-liter V6 vehicle. The battery pack is NiMH.
Toyota says that the new 2AR-FSE engine achieves class-leading maximum thermal efficiency (compared to vehicles with similar engine displacement) of 38.5% to achieve both high fuel efficiency and high output. The engine develops maximum output of 131 kW (176 hp) at 6,000 rpm, with maximum torque of 221 N·m (163 lb-ft) from 4,200 to 4,800 rpm.
The 105 kW electric motor develops maximum torque of 300 N·m (221 lb-ft); complete system maximum output is 162 kW (217 hp).
Fuel efficiency is 23.2 km/L (54.6 mpg US, 4.3 l/100km) under the JC08 test cycle of Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT), equivalent to CO2 emissions of 100 g/km.
The 2015 fuel efficiency standards are exceeded by 20%. Combined with certification for emission levels 75% lower than 2005 standards under the MLIT approval system for low-emission vehicles, the new Crown series is eligible for tax reduction measures under the Japanese government’s taxation system for environment-friendly vehicles.
Safety systems. The new Crown series features a Pre-collision System (including an improved Pre-collision Brake Assist system and a Pre-collision Braking system) with millimeter-wave radar that improves deceleration performance for 90% of relative speeds at which rear-end collisions occur.
In addition, Intelligent Clearance Sonar automatically applies the brakes and mitigates damage in the event of a collision caused by pedal misapplication or application with excessive force. For example, when starting from a stop in a parking lot, if the clearance sonar detects an obstacle in the direction of travel, a warning is issued and the engine or motor output is controlled accordingly.
Drive-start Control, standard on all vehicles, provides an on-screen and auditory warning to the driver and controls the engine or motor output to limit sudden acceleration and mitigate collision damage in the event of irregular gear-stick operation.