One of Toyota's oldest running nameplates that has been around since 1955, has just entered its 14th generation with the introduction of the new 2013 Crown series in Japan.
As with its predecessor, the new Crown, which is about the same size as the Mercedes-Benz E-Class measuring 4,895mm (192.7 inches) in length, is offered in two basic flavors, the more luxurious Royal model and the sportier looking Athlete.
"To attract people to the car today, we had to redesign it," the Japanese company's President Akio Toyoda, told the press during the presentation of the car in Japan on Tuesday.
Toyota says both Crown models feature fresh styling inside and out adding that all major components have been updated, while there's also a new 2.5-liter hybrid powertrain, and new tech goodies such as the Toyota Multi-Operation Touch, which combines various vehicle functions into one touch panel on the center console.
Compared to the Royal, the Athlete sports a more dynamic styling thanks to its bespoke grille inserts, redesigned front and rear bumpers, pronounced front fenders and an aero kit. Inside, the differences concern the sportier trim accents and sport seats.
There are three available engine options starting with a 2.5-liter V6 gasoline unit that delivers 200hp (203PS) and 243Nm (179 lb-ft) of peak torque driving through a six-speed automatic to either the rear- or all four-wheels, and which is offered on both Crown models.
Also available on the Crown Royal and Athlete is a new 2.5-liter, 4-cylinder inline Atkinson cycle gasoline unit linked to an electric motor producing a combined output of 176hp (178PS) and maximum torque of 221Nm (163 lb-ft), offered exclusively with rear-wheel drive.
Last but not least, the Crown Athlete can be had with a range-topping 3.5-liter V6 gasoline engine capable of delivering 311hp (315PS) and 377Nm (278 lb-ft), connected to an 8-speed automatic turning the rear wheels.
Pricing in Japan starts at 3,530,000 yen (US$41,400 or €31,300) for the base Crown Royal RWD 2.5 V6 and rises to 5,430,000 yen (US$63,600 or €48,300) for the Crown Athlete G 3.5 V6.
Thanks to Leopaul Del Rosario for the tip!