toyota crown royal saloon 1

Christmas may be a time of rest for many, but not Toyota. The automaker, set to regain the top spot in 2012, took the festive occasion to introduce its all-new Crown luxury sedan for the Japanese domestic market.

The Crown name has been around since 1955, and moves into 2013 in its 14th-generation form. The S210 replaces the S200, which had a four-year run, and is available in both Crown Royal and Crown Athlete versions. The former is aimed at corporate users, while the Athlete targets individuals looking for some flair.

Ah yes, flair. The new Crown has been given an updated design – replete with larger front grille – and lower prices, things the company is hoping to attract younger buyers with; the current Crown user base has an average age hovering around the late-50s mark, and Toyota is hoping that the new car will appeal to those in their 40s.

toyota crown athlete 1

Both the Royal and Athlete variants are available in rear-wheel 2WD and i-Four 4WD form, and the hybrid versions now incorporate a 2.5 litre engine instead of the 3.5 litre found previously. The 2.5 L 2AR-FSE is good for 178 PS at 6,000 rpm and 221 Nm at 4,200 to 4,800 rpm, and the paired electric motor has 143 PS and 300 Nm for numbers – combined system output is 220 PS.

The gasoline lumps are a V6 2.5L 4GR-FSE, with 203 PS at 6,400 rpm and 243 Nm at 4,800 rpm, available on both Royal and Athlete versions, and a V6 3.5L 2GR-FSE offering 315 PS at 6,400 rpm and 377 Nm at 4,800 rpm, which is only found on the Athlete.

Transmission-wise, the hybrid is equipped with an E-CVT unit, while the rest of the range features a six-speed Super ECT automatic, and in the case of the 3.5 litre-equipped Athlete, an eight-speed Super ECT box.