Toyota Updates Crown at 60 – Turbocharged Engine and ITS Connect Introduced

By Steve and Tamami Laser

The Crown is one of Toyota’s longest-running nameplates. It was the first model to be exported to the U.S. in the late 1950s. And while it was later replaced by other models, the Crown is still going strong in Japan as Toyota celebrates its seventh decade in style.


We took this photo of a 1955 Crown during our last visit to Toyota Mega Web in Tokyo. (photo ©

Toyota has announced that the Japanese model Crown is getting a new lease on life, courtesy of a major mid-cycle update adding a new direct-injection turbo engine, a broad range of colors, and a “world-first” ITS safety package.


The most recent redesign focused on injecting liveliness and fun into the Crown, with particular emphasis placed on style, customization, and performance. The Athlete and Royal series will see the most significant changes, while improvements will also be made to the Majesta series. All three will be sold through Toyota dealers across Japan, with a combined monthly sales target of 3,700 units.

Crown Athlete


Toyota says the front grille, with its striking mesh pattern, seemingly changes expression depending on the viewing angle, giving it an even stronger front view with a commanding presence.

The grille’s outline extends to the bottom edge of the front bumper, conveying the vehicle’s low center of gravity. In addition, the bumper on both sides of the grille projects out to the corners, cutting a wide and low stance.

In addition to Bi-Beam LED headlights capable of switching between high and low beams with a one-lamp light source, the Athlete features surface-emitting LED clearance lamps with a daytime running function.

With larger ring-shaped rear lamps, the rear view expresses an emphasized sense of depth.

The interior uses agate laminate decorative paneling, “expressing clarity and depth like a work of art.” Turbo models will offer a dedicated interior color known as Prussia Blue.

Crown Royal


The front bumper and horizontal grille with an emphasized sense of depth create a front view that “exudes a commanding presence and a greater sense of sophistication.”

Toyota says the grille has been lowered even further and a chrome finish extends from the center to both sides, encircling the fog lights and emphasizing a sense of quality as well as a low center of gravity.


The interior uses a lattice patterned panel based on a detailed wood-grain finish. In addition, combined with the new interior colors of black with brown accents, this contributes to conveying both a youthful and yet more sophisticated interior.

Twelve subtle colors representative of Japanese aesthetics can be selected on certain grades in the Athlete series. Toyota says experienced professionals will adjust colors by a manual spray painting technique to achieve a higher-quality finish. A self-restoring clear coat that self-repairs small scratches will be used with the custom colors as well as the usual colors.


The new exterior colors can be combined with three new interior colors: white, black, and gold. All three colors create a sophisticated image in combination with the leather seats.

Toyota says the 2.0-liter direct-injection turbo engine (8AR-FTS) included for the first time on the Athlete series achieves outstanding acceleration performance at low and medium speeds.

The engine pairs a twin-scroll turbocharger with a cylinder head that uses an integrated water-cooled exhaust manifold to achieve excellent supercharge efficiency. This enables adaptive intake cooling that is not affected by the engine’s thermal load, resulting in maximum torque between 1,650 rpm and 4,400 rpm. Additionally, responsive yet smooth acceleration is achieved using Toyota’s 8 Super ECT and Driving Response and Acceleration Management System (DRAMS) with all-new controls.

In addition, Dual VVT-iW (Variable Valve Timing-intelligent Wide) technology optimally controls intake and exhaust valve timing, allowing the engine to run on the Atkinson cycle, while efficiency is further improved through the use of a Stop & Start System idling-stop function. Vehicles equipped with the 8AR-FTS engine boast a fuel efficiency of 13.4 km/L under the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism’s JC08 test cycle.

Toyota says the Crown will be the world’s first mass-market vehicle to offer a driver assist function that uses a dedicated ITS frequency. The package, named ITS Connect, uses Japan’s standardized ITS frequency of 760 MHz to receive and share data transmitted by external infrastructure and other vehicles. This kind of data often cannot be picked up by onboard sensors.

Toyota Crown information applies to models sold in Japan. Features, specifications and prices are subject to change without notice

News source and photos courtesy of Toyota Motor Corp.

Story (commentary) © 2015