The long-standing luxury sedan is now in its 15th generation

The Toyota Crown isn’t a popular model here in the U.S., and there’s good reason for that. It’s not sold here, though, in its place, we have the Toyota Avalon. It’s a different story in Japan and some parts of Asia where the Crown has become a staple in those markets. Believe it or not, the “Crown” nameplate is actually the longest-running of its kind to be affixed to Toyota, a distinction that stretches all the way back to 1955, spanning a staggering 14 generations, the last of which was introduced in 2012. Fast forward five years, and here we are. Toyota’s all set to launch the 15th-generation Crown by showcasing a near-production prototype of the luxury sedan at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show.

There’s been a lot of buzz surrounding what Toyota’s plans for the next-gen Crown was, especially now when a new platform is available to be used. Hardly a shock then to see that the next-gen Crown will, in fact, utilize Toyota’s TNGA platform, which was first used in 2015 by the Toyota Prius. The new platform is going to be one of the biggest changes in the next-gen Crown, but it won’t be the only one. Looking at the photos released by Toyota reveal a few important changes to the physical makeup of the luxury sedan, including a more dynamic stylistic design that remains unique across Toyota’s wide range of model lineups. Look at it from multiple angles and its hard not to notice some European influence in the sedan’s design. It’s a testament to the status of the model, also bolstered by the fact that the Crown is also one of a few Toyota models to actually carry its own badge. We may not be familiar with the badge itself, but rest assured, the Toyota Crown is arguably one of Toyota’s most important models - it doesn’t survive 15 generations for no good reason.

Continue after the jump to read more about the Toyota Crown Concept

Exterior

2017 Toyota Crown Concept Exterior
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The next-gen Crown will be slightly longer than its predecessor by an inch - 193 inches to 192 inches - with a slightly longer wheelbase to go with it

Not surprisingly, Toyota kept the details of the next-generation Crown up its sleeve, presumably because it wants to present everything when the luxury sedan makes its official debut at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show. What we do know at this point is that the next-gen Crown will be slightly longer than its predecessor by an inch - 193 inches to 192 inches - with a slightly longer wheelbase to go with it. It may not seem much but that extra length could account for more interior space for the passengers and quite possibly, extra cargo volume as well.

As far as the car’s design goes, it is more production-ready than what we’re used to from other concepts. The front section, in particular, already features the Crown’s unmistakable Lexus-like front grille with the Crown’s unique badge right in the middle of it. The grille is flanked by sweptback headlights and just below it are intakes that are visually separated by what looks to be a an angular chrome bar.

The grille is flanked by sweptback headlights and just below it are intakes that are visually separated by what looks to be a an angular chrome bar

Move to the side profile of the Crown and it’s easy to see similarities to how the front section looks a lot like a Mercedes sedan, specifically how the nose dips south as it reaches the edge. There’s also a muscularity to the Crown that’s hard to miss. The arches, for example, are wide and the shoulder and body lines are high and tight. And notice how the taillights kind of has its own similarities to the BMW 3 Series? I don’t know if Toyota intentionally did this or not, but the design flavor of the next-gen Crown certainly has a lot of European flavor in it.

Exterior Dimensions

Length (Inches) 193
Width (Inches) 70.8
Height (Inches) 57.3
Wheelbase (Inches) 115
Occupancy 5

Interior

There are no details about the Crown’s interior at the moment. That said, expect this space to feature plenty of luxury influence akin to what we normally see from the Avalon here in the US. That could mean a lot of different things, including rich leather trims, premium accents, and a steady diet of technological features. Space should also be a priority for the Crown Concept so expect the luxury sedan to have more of them on account of the car’s wheelbase also being close to three inches longer than its predecessor. The layout of the interior should be revealed when the Crown Concept makes its debut in Tokyo in the coming weeks.

Drivetrain

2017 Toyota Crown Concept Exterior
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Unless Toyota decides to go in a different direction so soon after it just did, I fully expect the 15th-generation Crown to feature the same base engine

For those who aren’t familiar with the Crown’s engine options, the facelifted 14th-generation model that was unveiled in 2015 introduced a 2.0-liter turbocharged 8AR-FTS engine that produced 232 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque and mated to an eight-speed transmission. Unless Toyota decides to go in a different direction so soon after it just did, I fully expect the 15th-generation Crown to feature the same base engine, possibly with some tweaks to it to draw out a little more power.

Should that be the case, the luxury sedan’s other engine option - a 3.5-liter naturally-aspirated V-6 - could also be in the mix. This particular engine is already being used by the China-exclusive Lexus LS 350 and with 318 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque on tap, it should have enough power differentiation from the base engine offering. A 10-speed automatic transmission is the odds-on favorite transmission to be mated to this engine.

A 10-speed automatic transmission is the odds-on favorite transmission to be mated to this engine

Last but not least is a possible hybrid model. It’s far more likely than not that Toyota will offer the next-gen Crown with a hybrid model considering the market that it’s expected to cater to. In this event, expect a similar setup with the LS 500h, specifically the Multi Stage Hybrid system that makes use of the same 3.5-liter V-6 mill and combines it with a couple of electric motors. All together, the system produces a total output of 354 horsepower.

Conclusion

2017 Toyota Crown Concept Exterior
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You can tell that Toyota wants to market the Crown to be a legitimate competitor to European luxury sedans. In that vein, it’s done a good job so far designing the model to look to part of one. It remains to be seen if it can drive and handle as well as we expect it to, but it is interesting that Toyota took the model all the way to the Nurburgring to do some testing. That tells you that the Japanese automaker is committed to making the next-gen Crown the best model it can be.

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Press release

The Crown Concept is a concept vehicle developed in pursuit of driving performance and connected technology. It features the blend of the storied Crown tradition with its birth in 1955 and the innovation to be expected in the Crown in a next generation mobility society.

The features of the Crown Concept are as follows:
Innovative driving performance as part of Toyota’s pursuit of "Fun to Drive"

To offer customers the enjoyment of driving cars while pursuing a future mobility society, TMC has re-designed cars from scratch, including building the new Crown Concept on a platform based on Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA), and has conducted testing in Nürburgring, Germany. In addition to responsive handling performance, driving stability is realized whether driving in low-speed areas or high-speed areas and whether on smooth surfaces or rough surfaces. The driver is in control, put at ease, and can enjoy the driving experience.
Pursuit of innovative evolution in order to fully realize connected technology as a service
Responding to an IoT society with complete implementation of Data Communication Modules (DCM)

Toyota hopes to provide new value to customers by utilizing big data that is acquired from DCMs installed in Toyota vehicles. The DCM will come standard in the commercial model of the Crown Concept.
From "safety realized by one car" to "safety realized by the whole city"

Toyota’s advanced technologies not only include automatic braking, but also ITS Connect, a connected technology service that keeps society safe as a whole through the sharing of information on things like traffic signals and other vehicles. Toyota has contributed to the early development of connected technology by participating in public and private demonstration experiments.
Enhancement of your driving lifestyle with big data

By utilizing the mobility service platform, Toyota aims to contribute to solving societal problems, for example, by reducing traffic jams in cities through the utilization of data on traffic congestion. Additionally, Toyota aims to diagnose vehicles remotely using vehicle data collected from DCMs to predict potential vehicular issues and the necessity for vehicular maintenance. Call centers provide quick and appropriate support and provide customers a sense of safety and security.

Toyota aims to offer a car that can continue to excite drivers, well into ownership, and believes that the remote technology unique to this connected car, as well as the utilization of a new mobility service, can provide an exciting evolution to the driving lifestyles of its customers. The commercial model of the Crown Concept is scheduled to be released around the summer of 2018.

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