How Toyota Achieved the Crown Sport's Trailblazing Design


The Crown Sport was recently unveiled as "a new form" of sporty SUV. Members of the model's development team talk about the various challenges undertaken in the name of making ever-better cars.

A history of innovation and challenge

Among the new Crown’s four body variations, the Crossover was followed by the debut of the Sport.

While developing a new car generally takes around four years, the challenge for the latest Crown was an ultra-fast 21 months.

In February 2020, the development team’s proposal of a partial update was met with the following response from then-President Akio Toyoda:

“Is this truly going to result in evolution? Why don’t we start thinking more seriously? Maybe we should skip a partial redesign.”

With the sudden change in tack to a full redesign, the development proceeded at breakneck speed.

However, as Toyota’s flagship model, the Crown has aroused big customer expectations. “Good enough” would certainly not cut it.

With the task laid out before them, the development team returned to the spirit of “innovation and challenge” passed down from successive Crown chief engineers.

Yuji Honma, who led the Crown Sport’s development, says that this mindset guided everyone involved as they sought to create an “exhilarating car that wows customers when they see, drive, or ride in it.”

In the Sport, this mindset culminated in the design of the rear fenders, the asymmetric interior, and the agile driving performance.

Over two articles, Toyota Times traces the project team’s efforts to overturn established ideas of the Crown through innovation and new challenges.