The 58-year-old Toyota Crown line has entered its 14th generation with the unveil of the 2013 Crown Athlete and Crown Royal sedans for the Japanese market, both of which can be had with hybrid power. The standard engine is a 2.5-liter V6 with 200 horsepower and 179 pound-feet of torque, while the hybrid uses the 2.5-liter four-cylinder from the Camry mated to an electric motor for 176 hp and 163 lb-ft. The Athlete (shown above) gets a third choice, a 3.5-liter V6 with 311 hp and 278 lb-ft.

There are two transmissions in the mix, the base engine in either sedan shifting through a six-speed automatic, while the more potent V6 in the Crown Athlete gets an eight-speed auto. Depending on which model is chosen, either the rear or all four wheels will be driven.

Outside, the sedan – less than an inch longer than our Lexus ES – gets a stiffer body thanks to more spot welding and a new can't-miss-it grille reminiscent of a crown. On the Royal model, the opening is filled with horizontal bars, while the Athlete trim gets mesh filler. Inside is the Toyota Multi-Touch Operation unit that allows touchscreen control of various functions, new wood grain patterns and gold stitching. Driving and safety tech includes an Adaptive High Beam System, Panoramic View Monitor, Pre-collision System and Intelligent Clearance Sonar.

Prices for the Crown Royal series start at 3,530,000 yen ($40,983 US) and go up to 5,360,000 ($62,225 US) for the hybrid Royal Saloon G. The Crown Athlete starts at 3,570,000 ($41,438 US) and goes up to 5,430,000 ($63,028 US) for the hybrid Athlete G. Toyota hopes to shift a not-insubstantial 4,000 Crowns per month in its home market. Scroll down to see a press release below with more details on both models.
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Toyota Launches New 'Crown' Series Sedans in Japan

Toyota City, Japan, December 25, 2012-Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) announces the launch in Japan today1 of the redesigned "Crown Royal" and "Crown Athlete" sedans. Both will be sold through "Toyota" dealers across Japan.

The original "Crown" debuted in 1955 and established a tradition of trust and peace of mind, and has since evolved into a sedan that leads the premium car market in Japan. Now, the 14th-generation of the Crown revisits its roots while also living up to today's demands and expectations by providing an exquisite ride and superbly quiet performance. The new Crown series has been designed around the core concept of new innovation, and stands at the front of Toyota's ongoing efforts to make ever-better cars2 that exceed expectations.

The new Crown series features distinct and dynamic styling that indicates the extent of the redesign. All major components have been updated, including a new 2.5-liter hybrid system that combines high output with high fuel economy, a matured suspension, and new cutting-edge technology and devices such as the Toyota Multi-Operation Touch, which consolidates various vehicle functions into one, convenient, easy-to-operate touch panel.

Monthly Sales Target for Japan: 4,000 units

Assembly Plant: Motomachi Plant, Toyota Motor Corporation

Vehicle Outline
1. Distinct and Dynamic Styling Fitting for a New Era

The new Crown series boasts a dignified yet expressive side profile built around a lowered body complemented by free-flowing lines and dynamic styling. The impressive front mask-based on the shape of a crown-emphasizes the individuality of the Crown series' unyielding presence and dignity.

Crown Royal
The hood and sides of the body thrust forward to create a strong front view with a commanding presence. The thick, angled upper grille blends with the wide and open lower grille to create the new, dignified face of the Crown Royal

The lowered body combines with the horizontally accented shoulder lines to create a low front-center-of-gravity while presenting a sense of forward momentum through the side profile.

The cabin is tapered toward the rear with the tires set outward through the use of arch hemming3 to create an impressive rear view that conveys a sense of stability and sturdiness. The shortened wheel arch flanges and the hems are curved inward to present smooth flare surfaces.

Crown Athlete
The low-to-the-ground center body and fender strongly emphasize the tires to form a lively front view. The shape of the grille evokes the image of a crown while expressing the functionality of a sports model to produce a striking look.

With integrated side rocker molding consistent with the body, the side profile emphasizes the low center of gravity and excellent driving performance.

The rear view features combination taillights with rounded accents that convey an aggressive feel. The rear spoiler flows smoothly into the side rocker moldings to emphasize the low center of gravity, and the adoption of a lower garnish with aerodynamic effects conveys the quality of the driving performance.

Interior
Shapes and handiwork infused with traditional Japanese aesthetics (such as layers, overlapping patterns) show refinement, contrasting with the modern Toyota Multi-Operation Touch control unit, but realizing a harmony between these aspects to create a modern interior that integrates tradition with innovation.

Newly developed wood-grain panels-with lustrous gold stitching and intricate geometric patterns created through digital processing-are arranged and placed with extreme precision to create an interior space that pursues unprecedented quality in ornamentation design and detail.

Interior and Exterior Colors
The Crown Royal is available in six body colors, including new Precious Silver and two new interior colors-Chestnut and Flaxen.

The Crown Athlete is available in six body colors including new Precious Silver and Precious Black Pearl with two interior colors including new Terra Rossa.

2. Outstanding Performance
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 and class-leading5 environmental performance.

The new 2AR-FSE engine achieves class-leading5 maximum thermal efficiency6 of 38.5 percent to achieve both high fuel efficiency and high output.

Fuel efficiency is 23.2 km/L under the JC08 test cycle of Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT; equivalent to CO2 emissions of 100 g/km), contributing to substantial reductions in CO2 emissions.

The 2015 fuel efficiency standards are exceeded by 20 percent. Combined with certification for emission levels 75 percent 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.


Main Specifications of Crown Series Exclusive Rear-wheel-drive Hybrid System
Engine
Model 2AR-FSE
Displacement 2,493 cc
Maximum output 131 kW (178 PS)/6,000 rpm
Maximum torque 221 N-m (22.5 kgf-m)/4,200-4,800 rpm
Motor Model 1KM
Maximum output 105 kW (143 PS)
Maximum torque 300 N-m (30.6 kgf-m)
Complete system Maximum output* 162 kW (220 PS)
Battery
Nickel-metal hydride
*Using both engine power and electric motor power; based on TMC calculations

In addition to the 2.5-liter V6 engine with 6 Super ECT and the Athlete-only 3.5-liter V6 engine with 8 Super ECT, both vehicles are also equipped with the Driving Response and Acceleration Management System (DRAMS) for smooth and powerful acceleration.

Chassis
Rigidity of the front and rear suspension arms has been optimized. The rear suspension arms with open cross-sectional configuration provide a high-quality ride without transmitting vibration from the road surface. Offset tie-rod ends on the front suspension and toe-control arms in the rear suspension maintain high vehicle stability when cornering to greatly increase ride comfort.

Body
The addition of spot welding to certain locations increases body rigidity, improving steering responsiveness, road grip and riding comfort.

The sides of the combination taillights feature aero-stabilizing fins that generate small eddy currents in the air that flow alongside the vehicle, applying force to the vehicle on both sides to maintain excellent steering stability.

Extensive vibration and noise countermeasures have been implemented on the body, this in addition to the hybrid system on hybrid models can provide much quieter performance7 over the existing V6 engine.

3. State-of-the-art Equipment
Driving Support

The Adaptive High Beam System ensures high forward nighttime visibility for the driver by detecting preceding and oncoming vehicles and selectively blocking sections of the high beams coming from the vehicle that could interfere with other drivers' vision.

The Panoramic View Monitor integrates images from four cameras mounted on the front, rear, left, and right of the vehicle and displays them on the navigation system screen in conjunction with gear-stick operation to enable the driver to monitor hard-to-see areas around the vehicle.

Safety and Peace of Mind
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 percent 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.

In the unfortunate event of a collision with a pedestrian, the vehicle's Pop-up Hood instantly raises at the rear to reduce the force of impact on the pedestrian's head.

Options Packages*1

1 Advanced package
- Pre-collision System (millimeter-wave radar)
- Clearance Sonar and Back Sonar
- Intelligent Clearance Sonar
- Radar Cruise Control (brake control)
- Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management*2 (gasoline-engine Royal Saloon models only)
2 Driver support package*3
- Electric tilt and telescoping steering wheel with auto-tilt away and return function (gasoline-engine Royal Saloon, Royal Saloon i-Four, 2.5-liter gasoline-engine Athlete S and Athlete S i-Four)
- Automatic windshield wipers (rain detection)
- Automatic anti-glare rearview mirror
3 Rear comfort package*4
- Rear power seats (reclining with 40/20/40 split)
- Rear center arm rest (with cup holder, storage box, and various control switches)
- Rear accessory socket (DC 12 V, 120 W)
- Rear left and right SRS side airbags
4 Leather seat package*5
- Leather seats
- Front seat ventilation
- Front seat heaters*6
- Rear seat heaters (Royal Saloon G and Royal Saloon G i-Four only)

*1 Not available on the Royal and Royal i-Four or the Athlete and Athlete i-Four.;
*2 Combines Anti-lock Brake System with Electronic Brake-force Distribution, Traction Control, and Electric Power Steering; *3 Standard on the Royal Saloon G, Royal Saloon G i-Four, Athlete G, and Athlete G i-Four;
*4 Standard on the Royal Saloon G, Royal Saloon G i-Four; not available on the Athlete series;
*5 Standard on the Athlete G and Athlete G i-Four; *6Standard on hybrid vehicles.

1 Hybrid model production is scheduled to begin in late January 2013.
2 A key concept of Toyota's automobile manufacturing in the Toyota Global Vision
3 A structure or bending processing used on exterior and exterior-plate components
4 Direct injection four-stroke gasoline engine superior version
5 Compared to vehicles of similar engine displacement, according to TMC
6 Calorific value effectively utilized for generating motive force (fuel that was used for actually moving the vehicle) as a percentage of the thermal energy provided to drive the engine. Increasing this percentage leads to higher fuel economy.
7 Compared to Toyota V6 engines at same number of revolutions, according to TMC


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 72 Comments
      Nick Allain
      • 1 Year Ago
      BRING IT TO THE USA! Just kidding, please don't. Seriously, don't - I was kidding. No really. If ugly were a noun, we'd spell it C R O W N.
      RedEmblem
      • 1 Year Ago
      To think that I will be seeing many of this atrocity whenever I move around in Tokyo... sigh
      Hitchslap
      • 1 Year Ago
      Peter Schreyer does not aprove this..
        Lunch
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Hitchslap
        Humanity does not approve of this. In fact, the so call "designer" should be tried for crimes against humanity for this design.
      Jarod Forney
      • 1 Year Ago
      I want to find something to like about it.. "being a fan of the past generation crowns"...But, No, Just no. That is a really bad evolution. Completely destroyed the only sedan from Toyota that actually looked elegant and majestic...And turned it into this... abomination. one look at that grill would turn just about anyone off. RIP crown, Let the Celsior dig you a grace.
      Leather Bear
      • 1 Year Ago
      For those who haven't been around as long as an old fart like yours truly, the Crown was one of the first models Toyota tried to sell in the US back in the late '50s, and the last Crown model available here was in 1972. Re the Crown shown above, I've never been a fan of the current Audi corporate grille, and the front fascia on this looks like an Audi with fangs. Considering the market segment in Japan that the Crown caters to, a Toyota "Crown Athlete" sounds just a silly as Buick Le Sabre GTO or Lincoln Town Car Sport.
      GR
      • 1 Year Ago
      I don't actually hate the grill, but it's rather odd for the car that is the Crown. In Japan, it's really viewed as the older man's car. We are talking over 50 years old crowd. Much like how Cadillacs traditionally used to be regarded. Both Cadillac and the Crown seem to be chasing a younger crowd now with more edgy designs than conservative ones. Though, other than the grill, the rest of the car looks very much like Crowns of the past several years. I wonder if this grill will be the same on the Crown Majesta model.
      Jmaister
      • 1 Year Ago
      Caption: My name is jagged teeth, ssssss~
      Mike
      • 1 Year Ago
      I don't mind the Athlete series. However the Royal series has an awkward looking front clip, that grill is pretty nasty. The rest of the car is nothing exciting, but it is easy on the eyes if not a little plain. I do get a kick out of the name though 'Crown Royal' , because up here in Canada that is a brand of whiskey. Maybe the front of the car looks better through the bottom of a tumbler.....
      DNB
      • 1 Year Ago
      A face only a Yakuza bigshot could love ... yuck.
      SKINNYwithNOfood
      • 1 Year Ago
      http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-9l3sHrknRoM/UNl0A8z3zAI/AAAAAAAAKVQ/t5cmwGj1YK4/s640/toyota+crown+athlete+5.jpg
      md_stew
      • 1 Year Ago
      WOW! Thats pretty Bad!
      Georg
      • 1 Year Ago
      with happy new year party hangover a lovely design.... :)
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