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Toyota Plans for a Plug-In Hybrid Crown: Report

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Kind of getting some Lucid Air vibes from this angle. What do you think?

Kind of getting some Lucid Air vibes from this angle. What do you think?
Image: Toyota

The forthcoming Toyota Crown family is a strange proposition, and I’m still not sure where it fits in a world where Lexus also exists, but Toyota is going to give it a shot in the States anyway. Leading the charge will be the Crown “Crossover Type” — sort of a replacement for the Avalon, but lifted higher, because that makes any car considerably more marketable nowadays. Here it’ll be known only as the Crown, full stop. Toyota teased it with hybrid powertrains and standard all-wheel drive, but it seems a plug-in hybrid variant may be on the way, too.

This news comes courtesy of the good folks at Motor Trend, who overheard as much during a meeting between the company and its dealer network last week. CEO Akio Toyoda revealed the news himself, albeit without any specs or information on the PHEV Crown, specifically.

As it is, the Crown’s two hybrid powertrains will offer 236 and 340 horsepower, uniting a trio of electric motors — two on the front axle and one out back — with a choice of two inline-four mills. Toyota’s dubbed the more powerful option the Hybrid MAX (all caps, of course) and that one’s turbocharged. It’s estimated to average 28 miles per gallon, while the less potent one will supposedly do 10 mpg better, by Toyota’s estimation.

Image for article titled Toyota Will Do Up a Plug-In Hybrid Crown Eventually: Report

Image: Toyota

Presumably the PHEV version of the Crown will be designated the “Prime,” and it seems like a smart move. Not every car has to be battery-electric of course, but the Crown is Toyota’s flagship for the foreseeable future, the zenith of its technological and design capabilities. You’d think it would want to push the electrification angle a little harder with such a product, but then, Toyota is still iffy on the whole EV thing anyway.

I’m going to stick my head out here like my buddy José and say I, too, dig the Crown. The two-tone paint job is a bit much, and of course I’d rather it just be a sedan, but Toyota’s still offering an attractive enough family car that’s certainly more interesting to look at than the Avalon ever was. It actually sort of reminds me of the old Volvo S60 Cross Country, or the Subaru Outback SUS. Lifted sedans work sometimes, and you could make a case for this one. The Crown is reportedly still due for release before the end of this year.

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