Since the nameplate was first introduced in 1955, we have been on the brink of the biggest change in the Toyota Crown.
The Crown Hall is a large sedan currently in its fifteenth generation, with the latest generation closely related to the Toyota Mirai and the Lexus LS. Although no longer offered in the United States, it serves as Toyota’s mainstream flagship (the automaker also has an exclusive Century sedan that sells for Bentley’s money) and has significance because the original Crown was the first passenger car made in Japan and built entirely.
Citing anonymous sources, Reuters Toyota reportedly plans to launch a newly designed Crown sedan this summer and a new Crown SUV a year later. The SUV will have hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric options and will be exported to North America and China. The hybrid versions are expected to launch in mid-2023 and the electric version is expected to be available early next year. According to sources, plans to export the Electric Crown SUV have not been finalized.
The Toyota City plant in Aichi Prefecture, Japan, is expected to produce both sedans and SUVs.
At its peak in 1990, annual crown sales were over 200,000 units. Last year, Toyota sold only 21,000 units in Japan, the main market for sedans. Adding more popular SUV body styles and new markets will help ensure that the crown nameplate will stick around for years to come.
It is possible that the Crown SUV could be paired with a new Lexus SUV to sit side by side with LS and LC in Lexus’ flagship range, possibly wearing an LQ badge. The 2018 Lexus LF-1 Limitless concept is thought to be a prelude to the new Lexus SUV.
Note that both Toyota and Lexus are planning to launch a US-made three-row SUV in the near future. They will be made at a plant in Princeton, Indiana. Toyota is expected to be called the Grand Highlander and Lexus the TX. Stay tuned.