Filed under: Car Buying , Hybrid , Sedan , Japan , Toyota , Luxury The 58-year-old Toyota Crown line has entered its 14th generation with the unveil of the 2013 Crown Athlete and Crown Royal sedans for the Japanese market, both of which can be had with hybrid power. The standard engine is a 2.5-liter V6 with 200 horsepower and 179 pound-feet of torque, while the hybrid uses the 2.5-liter four-cylinder from the Camry mated to an electric motor for 176 hp and 163 lb-ft. The Athlete (shown above) gets a third choice, a 3.5-liter V6 with 311 hp and 278 lb-ft. There are two transmissions in the mix, the base engine in either sedan shifting through a six-speed automatic, while the more potent V6 in the Crown Athlete gets an eight-speed auto. Depending on which model is chosen, either the rear or all four wheels will be driven. Outside, the sedan – less than an inch longer than our Lexus ES – gets a stiffer body thanks to more spot welding and a new can’t-miss-it grille reminiscent of a crown. On the Royal model, the opening is filled with horizontal bars, while the Athlete trim gets mesh filler. Inside is the Toyota Multi-Touch Operation unit that allows touchscreen control of various functions, new wood grain patterns and gold stitching. Driving and safety tech includes an Adaptive High Beam System, Panoramic View Monitor, Pre-collision System and Intelligent Clearance Sonar. Prices for the Crown Royal series start at 3,530,000 yen ($40,983 US) and go up to 5,360,000 ($62,225 US) for the hybrid Royal Saloon G.
Filed under: Frankfurt Motor Show , Sedan , Toyota Toyota has pulled back the sheets on its 2012 Avensis here in Frankfurt, and we’re a bit impressed with the shape of this sedan. The Avensis is essentially Europe’s Camry , but under the skin, it’s very different, as it actually rides on a platform it shares with the Scion tC . In this case, the new Avensis can be had in either sedan or wagon bodystyles. Up front, the Avensis gets a revised face that includes a reworked grille and stretched-out headlamps. Under the puffed-up fenders, buyers can opt for either 16-inch steel wheels with covers or 17-inch alloy rollers. Toyota will also offer additional 17 and 18-inch styles featuring a darker finish. Inside, the cabin of the new Avensis has been updated with the automaker’s optional Touch and Go Plus infotainment system. This unit incorporates an 11-speaker audio system, 3D landmarks and city models for the nav system, email, calendar support and advanced voice recognition and audio search capabilities. The 2012 Toyota Avensis will be offered with a choice between three four-cylinder engines:A 2.0-liter turbodiesel, 2.2-liter diesel or a 1.8-liter gasoline powerplant. All three come standard with a six-speed manual transmission, but the 2.2-liter diesel has the option of a six-speed automatic while the other two can be equipped with a CVT.