Toyota Motor Sales USA said it would launch the redesigned 2023 Crown – the nameplate which, initially unsuccessfully, introduced the brand to the US in the late 1950s – early next year, offering a choice of two electrified powertrains, including the brand’s first ‘Hybrid Max’ system.
Three trim and equipment grades will be offered: XLE, Limited and Platinum.
Hybrid Max, will be offered along with the established ‘Toyota Hybrid System’ is a new ‘performance hybrid’ which puts manufacturer estimated 340 horsepower net and a net 400 lb ft of torque. Exclusive to the Platinum grade, it pairs front and rear electric motors with a 2.4-litre turbocharged engine and direct shift six-speed automatic transmission.
“Hybrid Max produces powerful torque at low RPM for sporty, exhilarating driving and has an EPA-estimated 30mpg combined city/highway fuel economy rating,” the automaker said in a statement.
XLE and Limited grades will have the THS system which pairs front and rear electric motors with a 2.5-litre petrolengine and can achieve an EPA-estimated 41mpg combined. It has the usual nickel metal hydrid battery Toyota usually specifies for its non-PHEV hybrid models.
The Crown is built on the GA-K platform (TNGA-K) and has standard 19 inch or optional 21 inch wheels – the largest so far on a Toyota sedan.
Suggesting perhaps it might position the new model to appeal to an older demographic, Toyota said: “The large diameter wheels lift Crown up, giving the car a strong presence that also helps drivers get a clear view of the road. The height also elevates the vehicle’s hip point, the pivot point between the torso and upper legs, measuring at about 25 inches and enables easy vehicle entry and exit.”
Five paint colours will be offered plus an optional unique bi-tone for the Platinum, pairing tip-to-tail black with white, ‘Heavy Metal’, red or a new, bi-tone only Bronze Age shade.
US prices will start at US$39,950.
All US Crown variants will have a new, North American developed Audio Multimedia system with 12.3-inch touchscreen, over-the-air (OTA) updatable.
Cloud-based native navigation allows for real-time OTA updates for mapping and POI and Google POI data is integrated.
The new systems allows for simultaneous dual Bluetooth phone connectivity with support for wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto while a Wi-Fi Connect subscription offers 4G connectivity for up to five devices and enables an integrated streaming feature providing ability to link Apple Music and Amazon Music subscriptions to the vehicle with onboard control.
Additional connected services include a Safety Connect trial of up to 10 years with Emergency Assistance Button (SOS), 24/7 Enhanced Roadside Assistance, Automatic Collision Notification, Stolen Vehicle Locator and Collision Assistance. A Service Connect trial of up to 10 years provides capability to receivie Vehicle Health Reports, Maintenance Alerts and reminders.
With a Remote Connect subscription, a Digital Key is standard on the Platinum grade and available as part of the Advanced Technology package on the Limited grade. An active Remote Connect subscription allows drivers to access the Digital Key via the Toyota app to unlock the doors and trunk or start the vehicle using a smartphone as a key. The Digital Key also provides the ability to share keys with friends and family.
All Crown grades come standard with Toyota Safety Sense 3.0 which includes enhancements made possible by improved system sensors. The Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection is capable of detecting motorcyclists and guardrails in certain conditions. When making a turn or approaching an intersection, the system is designed to detect certain forward or laterally approaching vehicles and provides audio/visual alerts and automatic braking in certain conditions.
Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC) will also be standard. Improved lane recognition delivers refined performance of Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist and Lane Tracing Assist. Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist is designed to notify the driver via audible and visual alerts and slight steering force if it senses the vehicle is leaving the lane without engaging a turn signal. When DRCC is set and engaged, Lane Tracing Assist uses visible lane markers or a preceding vehicle to help keep the vehicle centered in its lane.
New in TSS 3.0 is Proactive Driving Assist. When operating conditions are met, this system provides gentle braking and/or steering to help support driving tasks such as distance control between the vehicle and a preceding vehicle, pedestrian or bicyclist.
Rear Seat Reminder also comes standard on all grades. The feature can note whether a rear door was opened after the vehicle has been turned on, with a reminder message in the instrument cluster after the engine is turned off, accompanied by multitone chimes.
US Crown sales ended with the last of the 1974-1979 model years, replaced effectively by the six cylinder Cressida (aka Mark II in Japan).