Toyota’s longest-running nameplate now has a new face, with the debut of the 2018 Crown in its domestic market today. Previewed by the Crown Concept at last year’s Tokyo Motor Show, the production version of the 15th-gen S220 arrives on the scene with an exterior essentially unchanged from the show car.

The replacement for the S210 – which has been around since 2012 – wears a far snazzier suit, with styling cues derived from the 2018 Camry. Completely redesigned, the new Crown looks tauter and sportier-looking than its predecessor, and a low-slung nose and fastback-styled roof-line aids the intended projection of pitching the new Crown as a (gentleman’s) sports sedan. The six-window side profile, meanwhile, looks to have been inspired by the new Lexus LS.

No shortage of options with this one, which is underpinned by the new Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) platform. A total of 21 variants are available for the Crown, along with three engine options and two drive configurations, in this case rear-wheel and four-wheel drive, as well as a choice of seven exterior colours.

In terms of powertrains, the base offering is a 8AR-FTS 2.0 litre turbocharged engine as seen on the 14th-gen facelift, now with a slight hike of 10 PS to 245 PS at 5,200 to 5,800 rpm on the new car, although torque remains at 350 Nm, available from 1,650 to 4,400 rpm. As before, it’s paired with an eight-speed automatic.

The other two are hybrid units. The first is a Toyota Hybrid System (THS II) offering based around a A25A-FXS 2.5 litre TNGA Dynamic Force Engine, which puts out 184 PS at 6,000 rpm and 221 Nm from 3,800 to 5,400 rpm. With juice provided by a nickel-metal hydride battery, the electric motor offers 143 PS (or 105 kW) and 300 Nm on its own, and together, the entire system delivers 226 PS of power.

The last powertrain is the 8GR-FXS, the Multi Stage Hybrid System as seen on the Lexus LS 500h and LC 500h, and the new Crown is the first Toyota brand model to utilise it. The system consists of a 3.5 litre Dual VVT-i direct-injected V6 – with 299 PS and 356 Nm – paired with twin electric motors and a 310 V lithium-ion battery, resulting in a total system output of 359 PS. The two motors work in conjunction with a four-speed auto to simulate the feel of a 10-speed gearbox.

In terms of grades, the new Crown ditches the previous naming convention, which offered the car in standard Crown Royal, sportier Crown Athlete and luxury-oriented Crown Majesta forms.

Now, the standard grade – which has 13 variants (four 2.0, seven 2.5 and two 3.5 litre) – naming starts with a Crown B, followed by Crown S, and then Crown G and Crown G-Executive (which replaces the Majesta), with a Four suffix on models equipped with four-wheel drive to denote the layout.

The RS (supposedly for Racing Spirit) range, meanwhile, takes over from the current Athlete, and features an Advance grade on four of the eight available variants (three 2.0, four 2.5 and a soliitary 3.5 litre). Four-wheel drive is also offered, but only for 2.5 litre versions.

The RS range features five-spoke 18-inch aluminum wheels and tyres as standard, but the specified route doesn’t just take a cosmetic approach. Items have been introduced to enhance driving performance, and the list includes special front stabilisers to increase roll rigidity, a linear-solenoid-type adaptive variable suspension system and a rear spoiler.

The 2.0 litre turbo Crown variant is also equipped with rear performance damper and rear floor brace to aid handling. The company says that much attention has been paid to driving dynamics, which are tailored from input gleaned from testing carried out at the Nürburgring.

Standard fit kit includes Drive Mode Select, which offers a range of drive modes with the press of a button – RS models feature an additional custom mode that allows drivers to configure a preferred combination of powertrain, chassis and air conditioning system settings.

The redesign has brought about a new cabin, which is adorned with premium material and trim. A total of seven interior colour combinations are available, four standard and three special options. Equipment includes a seven-inch display located on the main centre console, with a floating eight-inch screen perched above and behind it. The top surface of the instrument panel has been positioned lower to produce openness, capitalising on the placement of the double screens.

At the back, rear passenger leg space has been increased, with the newly-sculptured seats delivering optimum fit and reduced fatigue during long drives. On the G-Executive and G-Executive Four luxury models, the inclusion of high-end wooden panels and LED door lighting as well as a second-row air-conditioning system adds more plush and comfort.

It’s not just about luxe, because Toyota is pushing tech on the new Crown as well, and very intently at that – new to the car is a range of connected services, including the fitment of a Data Communication Module (DCM) system as standard. A host of services focused on safety, security, comfort and convenience, such as maintenance notifications based on real-time driving data, will be offered to owners.

In terms of safety equipment, the new Crown is also loaded. A second-generation Toyota Safety Sense package is standard across the entire Crown range, and includes a pre-collision safety system able to detects pedestrians in both day and night conditions and bikes in the daytime. Also to be found are dynamic radar cruise control with full-speed range, lane tracing assist (LTA), adaptive high beam and road sign assist.

In addition to intelligent clearance sonar and rear cross traffic auto brake, the new Crown is also the first Toyota equipped with rear pedestrian support brake, which detects pedestrians using a rear camera, and in the case of a possible collision, activates alerts and brake control to minimise the risk of an accident.

Toyota is targeting a monthly sales volume of 4,500 units for the new Crown, which is built at its Motomachi plant in Aichi prefecture.