Toyota introduced another Crown-badged car at Shanghai Auto Show this week. The new car is a mini van called Crown and It's a rebadged vehicle, similar to the Crown Kluger SUV that was introduced earlier. In fact, we're dealing with a Vellfire made available via the company's local joint partnership with FAW.
If the Vellfire name is not familiar for you, the Alphard model that is developed by the GAC-Toyota joint venture may because they're basically the same but with different styling. As if it weren't hard enough, there's also a Lexus-badged LM variant available in some markets as a tuxedo-clad minivan. The Crown Vellfire is now available exclusively in China, where it will join the Crown Kluger.
Toyota Crown is only available as a hybrid car with an electrified 2.5-liter gasoline engine producing 163 hp and channeled to the road by a continuously variable transmission. The three-row minivan is the top of the line and keeps the Toyota branding on the steering wheel, while the Crown Kluger gets the distinctive emblem.
Toyota is now taking orders in China, where it seems Crown is becoming a sub-brand for the more expensive models of a model. In Japan, the long-running Crown sedan is based on the TNGA platform and is a standalone variant that sits below the flagship Century.