Toyota Crown PHEV aims for electric miles, home backup capability

The Toyota Crown is getting an all-wheel-drive plug-in hybrid variant in Japan.

Known as the Toyota Crown Sport PHEV, the new model was unveiled Monday. It’s based on the Japanese-market Crown Sport crossover SUV unveiled in October. It’s one of multiple Crown body styles, including the high-riding Toyota Crown hybrid sedan that’s available now in the U.S., and the Crown Signia hybrid SUV that’s coming here for the 2025 model year.

Toyota Crown Sport PHEV

The plug-in hybrid Crown—no Prime badging, as of yet—uses a 2.5-liter inline-4 engine and all-wheel drive. This is not the Hybrid Max system that’s used on some other versions of the Crown, though. Rather, it’s likely similar to the system used in the Lexus TX 550h plug-in hybrid which, in a first drive, Green Car Reports found well-suited to the TX’s role as a quick, quiet people mover.

Total system output is 301 hp, and Toyota estimates 55 miles of electric range on the Japanese testing cycle. But the real highlight may be the availability of vehicle-to-home (V2H) backup power capability. Toyota claims the Crown Sport PHEV can be used “as a reliable storage battery during blackouts and other times of emergency” as well as charge using excess power generated by home solar installations.

Toyota Crown Sport PHEV

This might be the first Toyota PHEV allowing full V2H home connectivity—which for years Toyota hybrid owners have been seeking, in some cases with aftermarket solutions. The Ford F-150 Lightning and the Kia EV9 are offering home power backup systems, but the Crown PHEV’s capability to use gasoline is an extra dimension of disaster support.

Toyota hasn’t discussed plans to bring any versions of the Crown Sport to the U.S., but it’s not hard to imagine the same plug-in hybrid powertrain making it into the U.S.-market Crown Signia or Crown sedan. Toyota is making plug-in hybrids a major part of its future strategy, including plans to push range out beyond 120 miles.

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