The Crown will arrive as a jacked-up sedan, ready to fight the prestigious Europeans.
The Toyota Avalon isn't long for this world. After MY2022, the venerable four-door sedan will bow out after nearly three decades of service. This came as no surprise - the sedan is a dying breed, quickly being killed off by the SUV and crossover. What did surprise us, however, was Toyota's planned replacement.
In February, a leaked dealer document suggested the United States will receive the legendary Crown sedan as the Avalon's successor. We've since discovered the nameplate will be placed upon a sedan-like crossover, with distinctive styling.
The original render appears to be very close to the original. Below, images show us what the Crown Cross (a possible name) will look like when it arrives. Shared by Japan's Design Watch and Instagram user predict_cars, the images - reported to be patent designs - show a slightly raised liftback, styled in the vein of Volvo's Cross Country or Audi's allroad offerings - just in sedan guise.
There's plenty of family resemblance to be seen. There are hints of bZ4X in the headlights while the pronounced hood puts one in mind of the existing Camry and Avalon sedans. The profile, however, appears to take plenty of inspiration from the hydrogen-powered Mirai, although the rear appears to be entirely original.
The multi-spoke wheels are quite attractive and lend the Crown Cross plenty of presence and upmarket appeal. We had hoped for the traditional RWD Crown to make its way stateside, but the unique newcomer couldn't be more different. Reports indicate the high-riding replacement will be available with two engines; a base 2.5-liter four-cylinder and a turbocharged 2.4-liter four-cylinder.
Based upon the TNGA-K platform, the Crown will reputedly spawn both a sedan and SUV variant. It's unclear as to which model will arrive in the United States, but we're guessing it's the latter that will drum up more sales.
It would be a peculiar addition to an SUV-heavy lineup. If it's positioned as a premium vehicle, it would take the fight to similarly priced Lexus models and more expensive, Toyota-branded SUVs - maybe there is place for a plush sedan, after all.
Rumors of the Crown heading to the United States surfaced in 2021 when the Japanese automaker registered the trademark with the USPTO. Of course, another suggestion - albeit unlikely - is that Toyota will use the Crown model designation as a spin-off marque.
This is what FAW Toyota does in China. More upmarket models are sold under the Crown sub-brand, with vehicles such as the Kluger (pictured below) and Vellfire providing monied consumers with a more exclusive package. When it arrives, we anticipate the newcomer will be positioned toward the premium segment, where it will fight both traditional sedans and SUVs.