First debuting in 1955, Toyota’s Crown model of executive sedans was the Japanese marque’s first-ever passenger car and is now its longest-running nameplate. However, for American drivers, it’s rare to see these vehicles in the wild, and even less likely to have ever owned one. There’s a chance some of us may remember the Crown’s 15-year run, which ended in 1972, but for the past 50 years, the model has served as a mere curio within our immediate realm of automobile history.
Produced over the last half-a-century exclusively for Asian markets, the Crown is now being reintroduced Stateside, but with some unexpected changes. Rather than going for a straightforward sedan to replace the Avalon, which is being discontinued, Toyota is fusing both sedan and crossover SUV together to form something of a combination. With a higher ride height at 60.6” — nearly 4” taller than the Camry — and a 112.2” wheelbase, the new Crown’s reimagined “Premium Sedan” body could prove to be an interesting experiment to see if America’s crossover-hungry market will be on board with something that skews more toward a traditional four-door family car.
Totally modernizing the vintage model in every way imaginable, Toyota is releasing the Crown with two hybrid powertrain options across three different model versions. The XLE and Limited editions will come with Toyota Hybrid System, while the Platinum will be equipped with the brand-new HYBRID MAX system, the latter of which utilizes a 2.4L turbo hybrid engine with rear eAxle, putting out 340hp in the process. On the interior, all models will be equipped with the brand’s new audio multimedia system, featuring a 12.3” touchscreen.
Sporting all-wheel drive across all three editions, the unique new Toyota Crown will roll out later this year, with pricing announcements to come.