This is the Toyota Mark X Final Edition, a handsome send-off for the JDM rear-wheel-drive sports sedan. While we’re familiar with the first Mark X thanks to grey market imports (this is the second-generation Mark X), the model is a descendant of the Mark II that goes back all the way to the late 1960s. The car was also known as the Toyota Cressida in some markets.

The first Toyopet Corona Mark II debut in 1968. It was based on the Corona, but had a bigger body to slot between the Corona and big brother Crown. It became successful quickly, backed by Japan’s improving economy and infrastructure. Sedans were the most popular type of car back then, and the Mark II provided a step up from the more basic Corona.

In 1972, the second-generation Corona Mark II debut with sleek curves, a four-eyed face and six-cylinder power. The next-gen surfaced four years later (like clockwork) with a more matured look – this model is the one with two round headlamps next to two square ones. This one was officially sold in Malaysia as the Toyota Cressida, and you can still find it at retro car shows.

The booming 80s brought a new look to the Mark II, which continued its upmarket trajectory. It was by now a very popular model in its own right, so much so that Toyota created two spin-offs – the sporty Chaser and the luxury Cresta. This generation also came with a 2.8 litre inline-six engine. The square looks of the 80s were sharpened for the 1984 generation, which dropped “Corona” from the name.

Japan’s bubble economy continued to inflate, and the sixth-gen Mark II surfaced in 1988 to eventually overtake sales leader Corolla in 1990. This would have been unbelievable in the past, as the Mark II is a large, premium model. Of course, this was also the golden era that saw amazing sports cars come out from the Land of the Rising Sun. Everyone was basking in the sun. The 1JZ twin-turbo engine came into the picture in this generation.

The next one is my favourite. The X90 Mark II came out in 1992 with a curvy and super long body, and had “full width” wrap-around tail lamps that tickles my fetish (think Nissan S14, Honda NSX). Performance was very much the focus and the Tourer V version boasted a reinforced body, sports suspension, and a 280 hp twin-turbo 1JZ-GTE engine. One could also have a five-speed manual and a Torsen LSD with their big FR car.

The 1996 generation also had a long boot, but with more sober design, in tune with the (economic) times. The tail lamps had a split in the middle, and VVT-i was introduced in this generation along with standard front/side airbags and VSC. The final Mark II debut in 2000 as a luxurious, sedate sedan. The Chaser and Cresta bowed out during this time, replaced by an oddball Verossa that tried to look like a Lancia. It was a sad end to a colourful life.

The spirit was revived in 2004 with the Mark X that we’re familiar with. It’s a smaller car, but the RWD format was maintained (AWD optional), paired with new GR series naturally aspirated V6 engines in 2.5L and 3.0L form. It was made in sold in China, too.

The second-generation Mark X is the current and final one. It’s not as abundant in Malaysia as the previous generation, but has actually been in production since 2009. A high watermark of the X130 is the Mark X GRMN that we showed you from Tokyo Auto Salon 2019 – 3.5L NA V6, six-speed manual, a fearsome face and limited to 350 units.

Detour finished, we now come to today’s news – the Mark X Final Edition. It’s a fully-loaded version with 18-inch alloys and a unique front bumper. Inside, one gets a two-tone black-red leather theme with red contrast stitching on the steering wheel, gear lever boot and doors. Toyota’s Intelligent Clearance Sonar with Rear Cross Traffic Alert is standard.

It’s sunset time for the sedan, and the first to go are the sporty ones. Farewell.



GALLERY: Toyota Mark X GRMN at TAS 2019