A station wagon with a thick six-in-line and rear-wheel drive can really only be a German. However? Wrong, because cars don’t get much more Japanese than this Toyota Crown Athlete Estate!
Say ‘Toyota Crown’ and many people immediately see a stately, far from sporty sedan from the seventies or eighties. Not surprising, because in that form the model is still used in Europe. In this section, Crowns have already regularly passed by that meet this description.
Today’s Crown, spotted by Arjen Wijnbergen, is of a different order. To begin with, it is a copy from 2003, decades after the model disappeared from the European and American markets. This car almost certainly came straight from Japan when it received its Dutch license plates in 2019.
In addition, the Crown in question is not a sedan, but a station wagon. Now that is not unique in the world of the Toyota Crown, because Estates were also from previous generations. However, this certainly does not apply to every generation and the sedan continued to dominate the sales rankings at all times. This particular Crown Estate is one based on the eleventh generation Crown and that is the last generation of which a station wagon version appeared. This edition was therefore continued throughout almost the entire career of its station wagon-less successor, up to four years after the sedan version of this model disappeared from the scene.
Then there’s the ‘Athlete’ that adorns the butt of this Crown. Toyota was early on offering different model lines, as is very common nowadays. Crown buyers could therefore choose between a chic Royal and a sportier Athlete. The sportier version can be recognized by, among other things, its completely injection-molded and sportier shaped bumpers and side skirts. This specific specimen also has big wheels and seems to be lowered.
As a Crown buyer you actually had no bad choices in the field of engines, because every Crown of this generation received a six-cylinder in-line engine. Anyone who is going to import a Crown Estate will of course not opt for the tameest version anyway, and so the Dutch buyer of this white car opted for the most powerful Crown Estate that was offered at the time. This means that there is a 2.5-liter 1JZ engine under the hood that, thanks to a turbo, neatly reached the maximum of 280 hp in Japan at the time. That says little about the real power, which, despite that agreement, often turns out to be a lot higher.
Source: AutoWeek by www.autoweek.nl.
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