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Crown Hybrid Selling at Almost Twice the Expected Rate in Japan

Nikkei. Sales of Toyota Motor’s full hybrid version of the Crown (earlier post), introduced earlier this year in Japan, reached around 4,000 units from May-July—about 1.8 times the initial target of 800 units per month.

The new Crown hybrid combines a rear-wheel drive THS II hybrid system with a 2GR-FSE D4-S 3.5-liter V6 engine (also used in the Lexus IS and GS 350) and a NiMH battery pack. The Crown’s THS II system features a two-stage motor speed reduction device, also used in the motors of the GS 450h and LS 600h, to generate maximum low-gear torque for significantly enhanced acceleration, as well as extended high-gear performance for high speed cruising with improved fuel efficiency. The 147 kW electric motor delivers 275 Nm (203 lb-ft) of maximum torque.

Toyota says that the Crown Hybrid has the driving performance of a 4.5-liter vehicle with the low fuel consumption of a 2.0-liter vehicle. The hybrid went on sale in Japan on 6 May.

The new Crown hybrid system offers fuel economy of 15.8 km per liter of gasoline (37 mpg US, 6.3 L/100km).

While saving on gasoline, the remodeled Crowns save on the nerves as well with safety features numbering several world-firsts. The collision-prevention system, for example, uses a camera to detect the movements of the driver's eyes and eyelids and alerts the driver if their attention drifts, or applies the brakes if they fall asleep.

Another novel safety system gives the driver night vision by projecting infrared images onto the windshield, while yet another uses the car navigation system to assist the driver when entering or leaving an expressway.

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