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 Leisure

15th generation of Toyota Crown

7th July, 2018

By ASWAN YAP

YOU WOULD PROBABLY know that Toyota has a model called the Crown. This is one of the earliest passenger car models produced by the Japanese company with a history going back to 1955. It remains as part of the extensive Toyota range today as the flagship model of the brand and 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 exclusive Century which is produced in small numbers.

With such a long history, it’s not surprising that fourteen generations of the Crown have been produced and recently, the fifteenth generation was launched in Japan. Its looks did not surprise much since a concept model shown at last year’s Tokyo Motor Show gave a ‘preview’ of the design.

Toyota describes its latest flagship as the brand’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.

Commenting on the new model, Akira Akiyama, its chief engineer, said: “In inheriting the passion from the early days of the company when the first generation Crown was born, I wanted the world to see the ‘Japanese brains and brawn’ that went into developing this car. It was with this spirit that we promoted development. I feel the new Crown is a car that will take your breath away in every single aspect including design, driving, and connected technology.”

While there is also a variant of the Crown used as taxis, the flagship model generally used by corporate leaders and wealthy Japanese has usually been styled conservatively. However, in the past few generations, the styling has changed and it has 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 Toyota Hybrid System with 2.5 litre and 3.5-litre (V6) Dynamic Force engines. The 3.5-litre variant 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.

Although the Crown was assembled and sold in Malaysia in the early 1980s, it is no longer officially available from UMW Toyota Motor. With the Lexus brand also available for those who want premium Japanese cars, the Crown is probably not necessary for this market.

For those interested in knowing the price, in Japan, it starts at 4,606,000 yen and goes up to 7,187,400 yen. At the current exchange rate, this works out to be about RM168,000 to RM262,300.

   
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