Toyota set out to redefine what a sedan is with the launch of the Crown model last year. Now, it’s wants to do it again with the Crown crossover that it’s confirmed will make its debut at the LA Auto Show on Nov. 14. Headlight.News has an advanced look.
When Toyota teased plans a few weeks back to launch a new, “C” badged crossover at the LA Auto Show we had a sneaking suspicion of what it would be. And it certainly wasn’t going to wear the name Camry.
The automaker delivered a solid hit this past year with the introduction of its distinctive Crown sedan and, at that model’s launch, several Toyota officials broadly hinted that there would be other products to come wearing the Crown badge.
Now, they’ve confirmed plans to introduce a Crown crossover at the Tinsel Town event, though we’ll have to wait until the formal debut on November 14th at the Los Angeles Convention Center for full details. But the second teaser image released today does give us some additional clues.
To start with, it reveals the model coming to Los Angeles is a doppelganger of the Toyota Crown Estate already on sale in Japan and other global markets. If, as seems likely, the American version carries over the basic dimensions, we’ll be getting a 2-row, 5-seater that shares the same underpinnings as the Crown sedan already on sale here, what’s known as the TNGA-K platform.
Then again, what we’re looking at could be more in tune with the new Crown Sport that just launched in Japan last month. Either way, expect the American version to carry over the basic plan which means we’ll be getting a 2-row, 5-seater that shares the same underpinnings as the Crown sedan already on sale here, what’s known as the TNGA-K platform.
It certainly makes sense to add a crossover body style considering current market trends that have seen sedans dwindle from their once-lofty position as the most popular American body style.
Breaking the mold
But that original Crown model was meant to show that Toyota could come up with something truly creative, rather than the classically plain vanilla styling of models like the Camry and Corolla.
“We’re unapologetically calling this a sedan,” Joe Moses, head of marketing for Toyota North America, said when the first Crown model was revealed almost exactly two years ago.
Okay, so now we know a crossover version is coming. But that raises plenty of questions. And we have a few answers. To start with: expect the Estate version — or whatever Toyota chooses to name it in the U.S. — to stick to the same powertrain strategy as the Crown sedan. That means it will be offered only with hybrid power.
For those who haven’t checked out the Crown sedan, the XLE and Limited packages make 236 horsepower from a 2.5-liter gas engine paired with three small electric motors. The top-spec Crown Platinum goes with Toyota’s beefier Hybrid Max drivetrain. It derives 340 ponies from a turbocharged 2.5-liter gas engine paired with a rear-mounted motor.
The Platinum package is reasonably sporty, hitting 60 in 5.1 seconds. The other trims need a more languid 7.2 seconds.
As we noted several weeks ago, Toyota is also bringing a plug-in hybrid version of the Crown line to Japan. No word on whether it will come to the U.S. — and, if so, what the timing will be.
Incidentally, the Platinum also adopts adaptive dampers which would certainly fit well on a Crown crossover for the U.S. Whether it might add some more rugged features, as well, remains to be seen.
The interior of a Crown Sport would likely run close to what we’ve seen with the current sedan, starting with the big 12.3-inch touchscreen powered by Toyota’s Alexa-style voice assistant.
We’ll learn more a week from today.