The 2023 Toyota Crown is one of the most unusual vehicles in a long time, and Toyota leaned into its weirdness hard. If you really want your category-defying sedan-SUV mash-up to stand out, though, you need to spring for the top-trim Platinum model. Why? Because then you can spec it with two-tone paint.
Of course, "two-tone" has somewhat of a retro connotation, so when we spoke to the marketing manager for the new Crown, Ash Hack, he referred to this paint option as a "bi-tone" instead. It's not a simple top/bottom paint split like you remember from your dad's K5 Blazer, but rather, a paint job that highlights some of the most interesting design elements and character lines of the car.
"You've got the large black areas that extend down to the front of the vehicle that turns into what they call the hammerhead," Hack said, calling out the blunt, geometric front end of the car. "So, we're calling it bi-tone because two-tone just didn't seem to do it justice."
Whether you call it bi-tone, two-tone, or just "that neat paint job with a strategically placed contrasting color," the concept is the same as it's always been. Two contrasting colors can be used to highlight different parts of an interesting car design. The flashiest mid-century cars always had big contrasting sections that stood out from the rest of a candy-colored car.
What the Toyota Crown is doing really isn't new—it's a revival of a flashier, more classic two-tone style, if anything. The contrast is used like a highlighter to draw attention to some of the Crown's most unique design features, and personally, I'm here for it. It makes the regular single-color Crown look plain in comparison.
All of this begs the question: Would you order a new car in two-tone? Is it time for two-tone to make a comeback?
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