The Toyota Crown Kluger (Chinese name: 丰田皇冠陆放) that debuted at Auto Shanghai 2021 last month will arrive in Chinese showrooms in the third quarter of the year, as per a new report from autohome.com.cn. Pre-sales of the first Toyota Crown SUV begin in July, and the launch will follow at the end of August or in early September.
A leaked document reveals preliminary information about the Toyota Crown Kluger launch. The first Toyota Crown SUV will be available in 5- and 7-seat versions, with or without four-wheel drive. The Chinese publication says that there will be at least four configurations in total for the Chinese customer. 18- or 20-inch alloy wheels, 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system, electric tailgate, head-up display, Blind Spot Monitoring, panoramic sunroof, heated seats, and privacy glass would be among the available features.
To differentiate from the regular Toyota Kluger/Toyota Highlander, the Crown Kluger gets sophisticated headlight graphics in a three-eyed look, an inverted hexagonal upper grille with the Toyota Crown badge, and a bold, trapezoidal lower grille that similar to that of the new Toyota Camry, with chrome-embellished horizontal bars. The resulting appearance matches with that of the Highlander XSE that was introduced in March last year.
Everything from the sportier grille with a unique insert to the rocker moldings at the front and sides, the blacked-out accents, and the 20-inch dual-tone alloy wheels look identical to the Toyota Highlander XSE. The interior design is again familiar, and like in the XSE variant, two-tone red-black upholstery has been used. Only the Crown badges in various sizes on the radiator grille, the wheels, and the steering wheel are unique elements inside and out.
Powering the Toyota Crown Kluger is a standard 2.5-liter hybrid engine with a maximum power of 141 kW or 189 hp. The Crown-badged version has roughly the same dimensions – it measures 5,015 mm (197.4 in.) in length, 1,930 mm (76.0 in.) in width, and 1,750 mm (68.9 in.) in height, and its wheelbase covers a length of 2,850 mm (112.2 in.). Should the first Crown-badged SUV become a successful outing, the prestigious name could become synonymous with premium Toyota variants in the future, akin to Maybach or Horch.
Toyota has confirmed that the Crown Kluger is exclusive to China in a press statement:
In 1964, Toyota entered the Chinese market and introduced the first Toyota flagship model “Crown”, which was loved by Chinese consumers. Toyota hopes that while inheriting the excellent DNA of Crown cars, it can keep up with the times and meet the actual needs of Chinese consumers. Thus, China’s exclusive new SUV model “Crown Kluger” was born.Toyota’s remark on the Crown brand at Auto Shanghai 2021 (translated)
Crown sub-brand to get other cars, says report
China’s autohome.com.cn speculates that the Toyota Highlander Crown could be followed by several Crown-badged Toyotas. Toyota (FAW-Toyota) may use Crown in models like Corolla and Sienna, albeit only for their high-end versions. For example, of the two global versions of the twelfth-gen Toyota Corolla, ‘Sporty’ and ‘Prestige’, the latter could be the Toyota Crown Corolla. In China, GAC-Toyota sells the Sporty version (the one sold in the U.S.) as the Toyota Levin while FAW-Toyota sells the Prestige version as the Toyota Corolla.
Video Source: youtube.com/Toyota Motor Corporation
Toyota Crown Kluger design patents
Toyota had filed a trademark application for the name Crown Kluger. Later, patent images of the Kluger with the Crown badge on the grille hit the Chinese portals in February. While it was assumed there would be one Toyota Crown SUV, the successor to the Crown sedan, Toyota’s product team is planning more cars with the reputed badge.
The Toyota Kluger is sold in China with its original name, Toyota Highlander, by the GAC-Toyota joint venture company. Global automakers sell cars with different names, and sometimes differently styled, via more than one JV company in China. So, the Toyota Crown Kluger is FAW-Toyota’s version of the Highlander.
Toyota’s ‘other’ Crown SUV for Japan
It emerged late last year that a Toyota Crown SUV would replace the Toyota Crown sedan, the longest-selling Toyota model name, in 2022, in Japan. The new hybrid SUV (unrelated to the Kluger or current Toyota SUVs) will likely slot above the Harrier as a luxurious Toyota utility vehicle in the monocoque category. Unlike the Crown Kluger, it could be sold in global markets but whether the U.S. will be ‘Crowned’ remains the big question!
Featured Image Source: Toyota