While Toyota may be well represented in the sedan market here in America by the likes of the Camry and Avalon, back home in Japan it’s all about the Crown. First introduced way back in 1955, Toyota’s flagship domestic model celebrates its 60th anniversary this year. To mark the occasion and prepare it for its seventh decade of production, the Japanese automaker has treated the Crown to a mid-cycle update.
A range of updates distinguish the face-lifted Toyota Crown. It benefits from a new direct-injection turbo engine, a host of new color choices, and a new suite of electronic systems. Available in an assortment of trim levels, most of the improvements have been visited on the Athlete and Royal models, but the Majesta also gets some revisions. The Crown Athlete, for example, gets a mesh grille extending deep into the bumper, flanked by LED headlamps and larger tail lights. The Athlete’s interior gets new trim, too. Meanwhile the updated Crown Royal – not to be confused with the Canadian whiskey of the same name – gets a horizontal chrome grille treatment, with new fog lamps and a wood-trimmed interior.
The 2.0-liter turbo four has been tuned for low- and medium-range punch, with a twin-scroll turbocharger fed by adaptive intake cooling and intelligent variable valve timing. There are 2.5- and 3.5-liter naturally aspirated engines as well as a hybrid option, available in rear- or all-wheel drive, and channeled through 6- or 8-speed automatic transmissions. Finally there’s an array of new technologies packed inside the new Crown, including right-turn collision, warning, red-light, and traffic signal warning systems, along with radar-enabled cruise control, emergency vehicle warning, blind-spot monitor and intelligent parking assist. Scope out the full details in the press release below.
Toyota Gives the Crown a New Shine at Sixty
Toyota City, Japan, October 1, 2015―Toyota is ensuring that the Crown enters its seventh decade in style. The model is getting a new lease on life, courtesy of a major mid-cycle update adding a new direct-injection turbo engine, a broad new range of colors, and a world-first1 ITS safety package.
Since the debut of the original Crown in 1955, the nameplate has been a constant and reassuring presence in the Japanese market. Despite this consistency, it has never failed to adapt to the needs of each era. The most recent redesign focused on injecting liveliness and fun into the Crown, with particular emphasis placed on style, customization, and performance.
The Athlete and Royal series’ will see the most significant changes, while improvements will also be made to the Majesta series. All three will be sold through Toyota dealers across Japan, with a combined monthly sales target of 3,700 units.
A sportier Athlete series and a more refined Royal series
The front grille, with its striking mesh pattern, seemingly changes expression depending on the viewing angle, giving it an even stronger front view with a commanding presence.
The grille’s outline extends to the bottom edge of the front bumper, conveying the vehicle’s low center of gravity. In addition, the bumper on both sides of the grille projects out to the corners, cutting a wide and low stance.
In addition to Bi-Beam LED headlights capable of switching between high and low beams with a one-lamp light source, the Athlete features surface-emitting LED clearance lamps with a daytime running function.
With larger ring-shaped rear lamps, the rear view expresses an emphasized sense of depth.
The interior uses agate laminate decorative paneling, expressing clarity and depth like a work of art. Turbo models will offer a dedicated interior color known as Prussia Blue.
The thick front bumper and horizontal grille with an emphasized sense of depth create a front view that exudes a commanding presence and a greater sense of sophistication.
The grille has been lowered even further and a chrome finish extends from the center to both sides, encircling the fog lights and emphasizing a sense of quality as well as a low center of gravity.
The interior uses a lattice patterned panel based on a detailed wood-grain finish. In addition, combined with the new interior colors of black with brown accents, this contributes to conveying both a youthful and yet more sophisticated interior.
Special color selection package
Twelve subtle colors representative of Japanese aesthetics can be selected on certain grades in the Athlete series. Experienced professionals will adjust colors by a manual spray painting technique to achieve a higher-quality finish. A self-restoring clear coat that self-repairs small scratches will be used with the custom colors as well as the usual colors.
The new exterior colors can be combined with three new interior colors: white, black, and gold. All three colors create a sophisticated image in combination with the leather seats.
New turbo engine
The 2.0-liter direct-injection turbo engine (8AR-FTS) included for the first time on the Athlete series achieves outstanding acceleration performance at low and medium speeds.
The engine pairs a twin-scroll turbocharger with a cylinder head that uses an integrated water-cooled exhaust manifold to achieve excellent supercharge efficiency. This enables adaptive intake cooling that is not affected by the engine’s thermal load, resulting in maximum torque between 1,650 rpm and 4,400 rpm. Additionally, responsive yet smooth acceleration is achieved using Toyota’s 8 Super ECT and Driving Response and Acceleration Management System (DRAMS) with all-new controls.
Advanced D-4ST (Direct-injection 4 stroke gasoline engine Superior version with Turbo) technology creates an ideal air-fuel mixture and achieves maximum efficiency high-speed combustion.
In addition, Dual VVT-iW (Variable Valve Timing-intelligent Wide) technology optimally controls intake and exhaust valve timing, allowing the engine to run on the Atkinson cycle2, while efficiency is further improved through the use of a Stop & Start System idling-stop function. Vehicles equipped with the 8AR-FTS engine boast a fuel efficiency of 13.4 km/L under the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism’s JC08 test cycle.
Outstanding basic performance as a luxury sedan
By using structural adhesive and increasing the number of spot welding points to 90, Toyota has made improvements to the Crown’s manufacturing process that have led directly to enhanced driving comfort and steering responsiveness.
Additionally, shock absorbers and bushings have been tuned. Adaptive Variable Suspension System (AVS) and Electric Power Steering (EPS) control systems improvements have been implemented, leading to greater steering accuracy and road grip when cornering.
The Crown will be the world’s first1 mass-market vehicle to offer a driver assist function that uses a dedicated ITS frequency. The package, named ITS Connect, uses Japan’s standardized ITS frequency of 760 MHz to receive and share data transmitted by external infrastructure and other vehicles. This kind of data often cannot be picked up by onboard sensors.
Vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communication
Right-turn Collision Caution
While waiting to turn right at an intersection fitted with the appropriate equipment, drivers are warned by an audio and visual alert if they take their foot off the brake and start to move forward when there are potential hazards the driver may not have noticed.
Red Light Caution
When approaching an intersection fitted with the appropriate equipment, if the signal is red and the driver does not ease off the accelerator, the system will warn the driver with an audio and visual alert.
Signal Change Advisory
When stopped at a red light at an intersection fitted with the appropriate equipment, a display counts down the remaining time until the traffic light changes.
Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) Communication
Communicating Radar Cruise Control
The system responds almost instantaneously to the acceleration and deceleration of other vehicles equipped with Communicating Radar Cruise Control. This allows two or more vehicles to maintain a safe distance and minimize speed fluctuations, smoothing out traffic flow.
Emergency Vehicle Notification
When an ambulance equipped with a compatible communication device is sounding its siren nearby, the system notifies the driver with an audio alert and displays the approximate location and distance of the emergency vehicle, as well as the direction in which it is moving.
Other safety features
Blind Spot Monitor
The Blind Spot Monitor uses radar to detect vehicles traveling alongside that are present in the side mirror’s blind spot while driving. The side mirror’s LED indicator will light up or flash to warn the driver.
Intelligent Parking Assist
Intelligent Parking Assist (with Easy Set function, Parking Space Confirmation function, and Handle Select function) is available.