Filed under: Hybrid , Toyota , Quick Spins We don’t often come into contact with the Toyota Crown Hybrid , especially in colors other than pink . But when Toyota offered us the keys and a half-hour window to test out the Japanese version of the Lexus GS on US soil not long ago, we had to accept. Driving Notes: We’ll start with the start. The Crown Hybrid makes the friendliest, Japanese-iest sound when you turn it on. It’s like a high-fructose THX movie is starting. Considering this is a premium car, we were surprised the first time we turned it on, but then had to do it again and again. Purely for journalistic video-capturing reasons, of course, so you can watch and hear it below . We wish we had better-than-cellphone microphones to capture it. Compared to the Lexus GS 300h , which we drove immediately afterword along with the exact same route, it is clear the Crown is an executive’s car. The seats and suspension somehow made us feel privileged, not a feeling we’re used to in most hybrid cars.
Filed under: Sedan , Japan , Toyota , Design/Style , Luxury Akio Toyoda is doing a pretty decent job at the helm of the Toyota empire. This is the man, after all, that declared that Toyota would get new sports cars , and that they needed to be , not should be, rear-wheel drive. We can respect that. Toyoda is also trying to do away with his company’s conservative styling and bring edgier vehicles to market. Toyota’s designers have done just that, although perhaps they went a bit too far. In November, Toyota debuted its fourteenth-generation Crown with a bling-bling fascia that makes Lexus’ spindle grille look as conservative as a three-piece suit, and a retina-searing pink paintjob. See, in Japan, the Crown is to Japan’s older crowd what the 2002 Buick Park Avenue is to America’s senior citizens. As Automotive News reports, the idea with the pink was to draw attention to the grille, but it was originally intended as a debut item, only. Now, Toyota is actually planning to offer the electric fuchsia Crown for sale to regular buyers. Interested parties will have from September 1st to September 30th to place an order for the big sedan.