We may get Toyota's cooler sedan.
While we've enjoyed plenty of cool sedans from Lexus, like the IS F and GS F, we've also missed out on some of the carmaker's coolest JDM sedans, such as the Supra-powered Chaser, Cressida, and Crown. The latter is one of Toyota's most successful nameplates, spanning 15 generations from 1955 to today. Think of it like Japan's Toyota Avalon but with rear-wheel drive; it also received some shared V8 engines with Lexus in a few generations.
Through more than 65 years of production, Toyota offered the Crown as a four-door sedan, two-door coupe, wagon, and even a utility pickup, but the model was never offered in the US. This may soon change, as Toyota recently filed to protect the "Toyota Crown" name with the USPTO.
The trademark registration was filed on May 24, 2021, and "is intended to cover the category of automobiles and structural parts thereof." It is not uncommon for automakers to register trademarks to protect the rights to a particular name, so this filing is not concrete evidence of the Crown model coming to the US. However, the trademark comes during a unique time for the Crown nameplate.
Toyota recently showed off a new model called the Crown Kluger (pictured above), a version of the fourth-generation 2021 Toyota Highlander sold in the Chinese market. The Crown Kluger looks nearly identical to the US-spec Highlander XSE trim, but with a Crown emblem instead of a Toyota logo. It features the same hybrid drivetrain as the Highlander but receives a digital gauge cluster not offered on the US model.
It's unclear what Toyota plans to do with the Crown name in the US if anything. Toyota previously trademarked the name "Grand Highlander" in the US for a rumored Sequoia replacement, but perhaps the Crown could take its place. After missing out on generations of the RWD Crown, it would be just our luck if the first one brought to the US was a boring SUV.
With the Crown Kluger's introduction, Toyota has expressed interest in turning the Crown name into a sub-brand for more luxurious models. This trademark could point to a few Crown-badged vehicles coming to the US market. The current 15th generation Crown sedan came out in 2018, so perhaps there is a small chance the next-generation model could arrive in the US for the first time.