(Worldcarfans) - Toyota has released information about their redesigned Crown model, including the introduction of a hybrid version for the first time. The company will also offer two non-hybrid versions called the Crown Royal Saloon and the Crown Athlete.
Crown Royal Saloon's will come equipped with either a 2.5L or 3.0L V6, while Crown Athlete's offer a choice of a 2.5L or 3.5L engine. Both models come standard with a six speed automatic and rear wheel drive, four wheel drive is offered as an option.
Hybrid models come equipped with a 3.5L V6 engine, an electronic motor, and rear wheel. Also featured is a first of its kind TFT (thin film transistor) LCD Finegraphic Meter that displays digital and analog speedometers, and a hybrid system status indicator showing output and energy recovery.
Also of note is an improved Pre-crash Safety System that uses an eye monitor to determine if the driver's eyes are properly open and which way their head is facing. If the driver is sleepy or distracted the car will attempt to get their attention. Toyota's GPS stop sign location technology, which we recently reported on, will also be featured for the first time in a production vehicle.
The Crown Royal and Athlete series are currently on sale in Japan, while the hybrid version will be available in early May. Toyota is predicting monthly Japanese sales of 5,500 units, with 800 of them being hybrids.