Published on January 2nd, 2013 | by Nicholas Brown
New Toyota Crown Hybrids Launched in Japan
Toyota has announced the hybrid version of the 14th generation of their premium Crown vehicles for Japan. These are redesigned versions of the Crown Royal and Crown Athlete vehicles. All of the major components were updated, including a 2.5 litre hybrid system that they say provides both high output and high efficiency. The other improvements include a matured suspension, new “cutting-edge technology” such as Toyota Multi-Operation Touch.
Toyota Multi-Operation Touch integrates various functions into one touch screen (let us hope that this was done in an intuitive manner!). It is also equipped with a nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) battery bank. This type of battery is cheaper than the lithium-ion type, however, they are heavier and less powerful.
These vehicles achieve 55 mpg on the JC08 fuel efficiency test, which is more lenient than U.S tests. Its U.S MPG would be considerably lower, probably around 40 mpg combined or less. The Crown are equivalent to the Lexus LS 600h, as there is no Lexus brand in Japan.
The Toyota Crown vehicles are equipped with safety features such as pre-collision braking and brake assist, a millimeter wave radar system that slows the vehicle automatically to help avoid rear-ending, and a sonar system that automatically applies the brakes to minimize damage in the event of a collision.
The price range for Crown vehicles is $40,000 to $60,000, and the hybrid versions will cost an additional $6,000.
The Crown was originally introduced in 1955 as a premium car, but this was before the creation of Lexus for America, which is their main luxury brand now. Production of these new ones is slated to begin late this month. In Japan, they intend to sell 4,000 units per month.
Source: Autoblog Green