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BRENWIN NAIDU | Toyota Crown bound for SA in 2023

The Crown is going global, and more crucially it is expanding from a single saloon format into an entire family of vehicles with various body styles

17 July 2022 - 19:47
The Toyota Crown family.
The Toyota Crown family.
Image: Supplied

The Japanese domestic market is a fascinating place for motoring observers from the outside. Weird side mirrors and shrunken-wheeled critters born from peculiar legislation, to bizarre product names, their motoring scene is an endless source of fascination.

The Crown crossover is earmarked for South Africa.
The Crown crossover is earmarked for South Africa.
Image: Supplied

In Japan you will also find nameplates not familiar to most global markets. Among these is the Crown moniker, by Toyota, first seen in 1955. Though the Crown is a handle we do not know in SA, it is an important title in the Toyota scheme of things.

A conventional sedan remains part of the line-up.
A conventional sedan remains part of the line-up.
Image: Supplied

Crown lays claim to being the longest-running passenger car nameplate in the Toyota operation. It began life affixed to a mainstream sedan. In the decades that followed, the Crown evolved into a more upmarket saloon, with quality that arguably eclipses that of the Lexus marque in the eyes of hard-core Toyota enthusiasts.

But now the Crown is going global. And more crucially, it is expanding from a single saloon format into an entire family of vehicles with various body styles. There are four options. First, a conventional large saloon followed by a crossover, a sport-utility vehicle and lastly, a mutant sedan-cum-crossover. The range is set to be sold in 40 markets across the world.

SA is one and the crossover model has been confirmed for 2023 introduction. Stylistically, the range is unified by a singular family face. Serpent-like in appearance, the design boasts intimidating slits for eyes and aggressive lower bumper sections. Down the side and rear, the Crown range takes on a sleek, fastback-inspired template, interspersed with sharp pleats and angles not unlike the  Lexus. The SUV takes on a classic wagon-style rear section.

Our consumers will also draw parallels between the interior of the Crown and the layout experienced in Lexus models. A wraparound dashboard and plump, sculpted interior panels create a substantial feel. Interior materials promise to be top notch, including “warm steel” decorative elements. Rich colours are on the cards, with titles such as “precious bronze” and “precious ray” to choose from.

The Estate member of the Crown gang.
The Estate member of the Crown gang.
Image: Supplied

The Crown range is underpinned by the latest-generation Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) platform, claiming to be lightweight and rigid. The front axle uses MacPherson struts, with a multilink arrangement at the rear. The engineers said comfort was the priority, with a smooth ride and suppressed vibration being at the top of the agenda during development.

Two four-cylinder, petrol-hybrid engine options were announced, one with a 2.4-litre, turbocharged motor and the other with a 2.5-litre unit. Both systems employ a newly-developed, bipolar nickel-hydrogen battery. 

Rich materials promise to deliver a luxurious experience.
Rich materials promise to deliver a luxurious experience.
Image: Supplied

The Crown will be offered with Toyota Teammate, a suite of semi-autonomous systems to support the driver. It will also introduce the Kinto subscription model, which will include insurance, maintenance and other costs in a monthly instalment. It will be interesting to see how Toyota prices and positions the Crown crossover in the local market.



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