It seems Toyota is bent on covering every single niche in the crossover segment, currently slinging vehicles ranging from the pert Corolla Cross to the jumbo Grand Highlander. Now, another bundle of joy is on the way – but they’re not telling us its name.
As with most teasers, we are deemed worthy of but the slightest glimpse of taillight and a couple of badges. This is akin to other, more human levels of infuriating tease but VS lawyers are not permitting us to elaborate on such activity here. The shot does provide us with a clue about this rig’s name thanks to the plastichrome letter ‘C’ stuck above the license plate cutout. Given the general size and shape of that area and the badge’s positioning, it is reasonable to say the model name has five letters; Camry or Crown, perhaps? It’d be funky – though highly unlikely – if they resurrected the Cresta or Carina names from other markets, but if they apply the Celica name to an SUV there will be riots. Just sayin’.
The Crown is an intriguing thought, one with which several other outlets are running. Some sort of Crown Cross or Crown SUV would certainly thrust that nameplate in front of a whole array of new customers, folks who would likely never consider the new Crown sedan as their next vehicle. To be sure, the company did heave out a PR photo last year showing four vehicles that could possibly bear the Crown name; amongst them was a large SUV. This may very well be that machine – and it could be the same one whose Prius-like headlamps were teased last week.
Officially, the bumf for this photo promises the vehicle will have all-wheel drive and describes the thing as a “hybrid electric mid-size SUV”. Top-spec Crown models in this country are powered by an electrified setup that mates a turbocharged 2.4-liter four-banger engine with a rear-axle electric motor to produce a combined 340 horsepower. Other tunes belt out just 236 horses and use a CVT instead of a conventional automatic. Given the Crown’s elevated ride height, it’s not out of the question for Toyota to drape some sort of slinky crossover-ish body atop that car’s bones and squeeze more profit from the platform. And if we were rude, we’d totally point out the lack of alignment between the hatch and body on this pre-production vehicle being teased today.
Whatever it is, we shouldn’t have long to wait. Toyota will probably have a couple of reveals at the Tokyo Motor Show which kicks off in just a couple of days.
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