The Crown is one of the earliest passenger car models Toyota; introduced in 1955 and continuing to be part of the company’s range today, it is the longest-running Toyota model. While Lexus is the company’s premium brand, the Crown has traditionally been the flagship model for the company in Japan, with the exception of the Century which has been an exclusive model produced in limited volumes.

Since the mid-1950s, fourteen generations have been developed and now comes the fifteenth one. This latest Crown was actually previewed as a concept at last year’s Tokyo Motorshow and enters the world as Toyota’s first-generation connected car. It is equipped with a standard DCM. 24-7 vehicle connectivity which is said to bring the relationship between cars and people, even the community, to a completely new level. Services focused on safety, security, comfort, and convenience, such as maintenance notifications based on real-time driving data, will be offered at the most suitable time for each customer.

In earlier years, the Crown’s design was on the conservative side as it was largely intended for mostly senior Japanese customers (although it has been sold in some markets over the years, including Malaysia where it was locally assembled in the early 1980s). However, in the past few generations, the styling has changed and gained a more dynamic character as it evolved into a sports sedan.

Vehicle performance such as driving, turning, and stopping were also refined based on TNGA which is also used for the new Crown as a platform. For driving in particular, testing was carried out at Germany’s Nurburgring circuit, regarded as the world’s most challenging race track. The company says that the new car has responsive driving performance and exceptional vehicle stability in a range of driving conditions and scenarios, at low or high speeds, on smooth or rough road surfaces. The drivetrain is rear-wheel drive but there is also the option of all-wheel drive.

Customers have a choice of 3 powertrains, the main one being the Hybrid System with 2.5 litre and 3.5-litre (V6) Dynamic Force engines. The 3.5-litre engine is now the first Toyota brand car equipped with the Multi-stage Hybrid System.

Also available is a 2-litre Direct-Injection turbocharged engine with output enhanced by the increase of intake and exhaust port efficiency. High response is possible from low-rpm, while high torque is secured in the entire range.

Within the moderately sized cockpit and spacious interior is a comfortable space that allows the driver to focus on driving. The high-quality interior and cutting-edge devices create a point of distinction while attaining a sophisticated, modern atmosphere. To add further appeal, rich textures and impeccable design are adopted throughout, enlivening the senses and bringing texture, movement, sound, and attractiveness to the fore.

A new dual display incorporates an 8-inch display positioned farther back for ease of viewing even while driving and a 7-inch display installed closer to the driver for ease of operability. The top surface of the instrument panel is positioned lower to produce openness, capitalizing on the placement of the double screens.

Rear passenger leg space has been expanded in pursuit of enhanced passenger comfort. The optimized seating shape delivers optimum fit and reduces fatigue during long drives.

The second-generation preventive safety package known as Toyota Safety Sense comes as standard in all Crown models. The new Crown is the first Toyota brand car mounted with rear pedestrian support brake which detects pedestrians using a rear camera and, in the case of a possible collision, helps to minimizes damage by activating alerts and brake control.

Prices for the new Crown in Japan start at 4,606,000 yen and go as high as 7,187,400 yen (about RM168,000 to RM262,300).

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[Chips Yap]

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