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Toyota launches new Crown series sedans in Japan, including new hybrid models

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.



Not too many regular or hybrid Toyota Crown in North America but a very high percentage of Asian Taxi Cabs use this vehicle, known for its reliability, long life and lower repair cost.

The improved 2.5L I-4 will probably find its way into Camry, Avalon and Lexus Hybrids soon.

Wonder when Toyota's Hybrids will use lighter, higher performance Lithium batteries?


The taxicab Toyota Crown is a different car, as is the Crown Majesta. What they have in common, other than the name, is that they are sold in the same dealership network in Japan.

Most North Americans do not realize that Toyota has at least four distinct dealership networks in Japan (six if you count Hino and Daihatsu), much like the "Chevy/GMC/Buick/Cadillac arrangement that GM gets flack for in the US.


Yes, Toyota produces at least six versions of their Crown car: Crown Sedan (lower cost unit for taxis), Crown Comfort, Crown Athelete, Crown Hybrid and the top of the line stretched Crown Royal Saloon and Crown Magesta, all about 3600 lbs to 4400 lbs

The Toyota Century Limo is also a (much) overgrown Crown Magesta at over 6000 lbs to compete with larger Mercedes, BMWs, Rolls Royce etc.

richard schumacher

Why is the Crown line not sold in NA?

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