Toyota's lineup of SUVs will allegedly grow next year with the introduction of the Crown SUV. A new Reuters report says that the automaker will expand the Crown brand to include a high-riding model, complementing the sedan. Not only will it go on sale in Japan, but Toyota has plans to export the new model to China and North America.
Details are scarce at the moment, but the publication spoke to three people about the company's plans. It'll allegedly arrive in three configurations – hybrid, plug-in, and fully electric. The report says that sales will begin as soon as the summer of 2023, but not every market will receive every configuration. The plug-in hybrid will stay in the domestic market.
Gallery: 2018 Toyota Crown
According to the report, the hybrid and plug-in hybrid will launch first, with the full-electric variant following in 2024. However, two of Reuters' sources said that the company is still finalizing export plans for that model. The report doesn't have any other information about its platform, powertrains, or design.
The new SUV could sit above the Sequoia in the brand's lineup, possibly serving as a replacement for the discontinued Land Cruiser in the US. If it's a range-topping model, it should also come with all the latest bells and whistles. Toyota still offers the Land Cruiser in other markets. Toyota declined to talk with Reuters about its alleged plans.
This isn't Toyota's first time expanding a sedan model to include a crossover. The company launched the 2022 Corolla Cross last year. Consumers are gravitating toward crossovers and SUVs, and Toyota is moving with the market. However, the iconic Crown sedan isn't going anywhere yet. The Crown will undergo a thorough refresh that'll debut sometime this summer. Toyota introduced the 15th-generation in 2018 and gave the four-door an update in 2021, which included new technology.
Toyota has expanded its lineup of crossovers and SUVs over the last few years. Adding a range-topping model makes sense as people are spending more on new cars than ever before, and Toyota will do that by expanding the Crown brand further beyond the company’s home country.