Not content to update a mainstay of Japanese culture with the debut of the new Century last week, Toyota has now unveiled a redesigned version of Japan’s second-most time-honored model, the Crown. The fifteenth generation goes on sale today, marking an unbroken lineage of Toyota sedans that dates back to 1955. To market the all-new Crown, Toyota has released a commercial that follows the company’s entire history.
The ad follows a man walking through the desert, passing iconic Toyota products beginning with the Toyoda automatic loom, the textile weaving machine that kicked off the Aichi empire. He then passes an S30 Crown, E10 Corolla, FJ40 Land Cruiser, 2000GT, an AE86, Prius, and even the new Gazoo Super Sport Concept. The only anomaly is the A20 Celica, whose hideous rims are a complete anachronism. It was an unfortunate choice, because it breaks the building of emotion that unfolds throughout the ad.
As one of the most important models in Toyota’s portfolio, the marketing team is taking many angles with the Crown other than its long history. Another ad shows the car during testing, first in snowy climates and with company CEO and race car driver Akio Toyoda testing the car and then at the Nürburgring, where performance testing took place.
There’s even an extended video in which chief engineer Akira Akiyama and newly minted Le Mans winner Kazuki Nakajima drive the car at what is a most incredible seaside test track. Both the 2.0-liter turbo four and 3.5-liter V6 hybrid versions are tested, though it’s all in Japanese.
Another ad shows off the Crown’s connected technologies, including roadside emergency and concierge operators, real-time traffic navigation, and the ability to check your oil by smartphone, while yet another details the Crown’s upholstery and another simply shows a guy texting.
The launch of a new Crown is a big deal. Whereas the Century was quietly released, if you’re in Japan today you probably won’t be able to miss the new Crown even if you try.