Toyota has revealed its successor to the Avelon – the new-for-2023 Crown – will also be its first sedan to feature the new, performance-focused ‘HYBRID MAX’ powertrain.
The revived Crown, a model name that debuted in Japan as the ‘Toyopet Crown’ in 1955 and made its way to Canada in 1965 before disappearing altogether in 1972, is said to “throw off the conventional concepts of a sedan,” hence the crossover-esque styling. Built on a developed version of Toyota’s New Global Architecture K (TNGA-K) platform, the Crown sits nearly four inches higher than the Camry, a move that makes both ingress and egress easier, as well as improving forward visibility, but, when combined with Toyota’s bold new styling, is also said to provide a package constituting “innovative style, performance, and function.”
A great deal of this comes down to the HYBRID MAX powertrain, exclusive to the top tier ‘Platinum’ trim. The 2.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder has been specifically tuned to hit peak torque between 2,000 and 3,000 rpm. This is mated with one electric motor at the front, which maximizes torque delivery for a more rapid reaction off the line, and a second, water-cooled eAxle electric motor at the rear that distributes power and torque to all four wheels and provides linear acceleration across the rev range. Combined power is an estimated 340 hp.
All-wheel drive – E-Four Advanced AWD – comes as standard on the Platinum, a system that allows sends up to 70 per cent of that 340 hp to the front wheels, or up to 80 per cent to the rear.
A further hybrid powertrain option – the fourth-generation Toyota Hybrid System (THS) – is also available on both the entry-level ‘XLE’ and ‘Limited’ trims, which features Toyota’s familiar 2.5-litre four-cylinder – good for 236 hp – albeit now with a more robust battery pack. This does mean the more dynamic ‘Platinum,’ rated at 8.4 litres per 100 km, does take a knock when it comes to fuel consumption compared to the XLE / Limited’s 6.2 L / 100 km.
A six-speed transmission is fitted exclusively to the Platinum trim, while the XLE and Limited come as standard with an electronically-controlled CVT. As one would expect, the top-of-the-range model also receives dynamic upgrades like Adaptive Variable Suspension, a six-way drive mode, and bespoke 21-inch machined 10-spoke alloys compared with the XLE’s 19-inch examples.
Inside, though the dash is dominated by a 12.3-inch touchscreen and a digital gauge cluster, the cabin design is minimalist, creating what Toyota calls a “sanctuary for the road.” On top of the wireless charging and eight-way adjustable seats on the XLE base, the Limited and Platinum upgrade to a larger surround sound system, ventilated seats for driver and passenger, a heartier number of interior colour options, and a panoramic roof, among other accoutrements. Toyota also puts much of the cabin’s sound-deadening down to the TNGA-K platform and the acoustic glass, with the architecture in particular said to reduce road vibrations through the curbing vibration through the steering and floor via “strategically placed insulation” and tuned suspension.
The Crown’s arrival next year means Toyota Canada will feature 15 electrified vehicles on its lineup in 2023. Expected to reach Canadian showrooms later this year, pricing for the Crown will be announced at a later date.