Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The Toyota Cressida was a powerful, well built, intermediate luxury range introduced by Toyota in 1973, with exports commencing with the second generation in 1977. For most of its life, it shared its basic structure with the Japanese-market Toyota Mark II , Toyota Chaser and Toyota Cresta .
In the United States, the Cressida was also know as a 'four-door Supra', because Supra and Cressida shared the same inline six-cylinder engine, had rear-wheel drive and were flagship cars.
The Cressida went through major changes every four years. The 1981 revisions to the range saw a six-light bodyshell. North America received essentially a rebadged Mark II (never Mark III, or IV, despite the model changes), with an upright front grille and four headlamps. Most other markets received the Cressida, with a slanted grille and two headlamps. The Toyota Cresta was launched with this generation, as a further spin-off of the Mark II platform.
Japanese market tastes were generally "formal" in the mid-1980s for this segment and the Cressida followed. In 1985, the Cressida, Mark II and Chaser ranges went slightly more upright and square, when overseas trends were toward rounded, fluid shapes.
The last change for most export markets was in 1989 when the body was updated and the top engine got a boost from 2·8 liters to 3·0 liters. The Cressida was discontined in North America in 1992: the introduction of the Lexus division meant that Toyota didn't need a large luxury sedan in its line-up. But the last Cressida was victim to falling sales in most markets, too, and was the last of the series exported outside Japan.
In Japan, the Mark II, Chaser and Cresta continued beyond 1992, but the Cressida name was retired. The Chaser and Cresta went on for two more generations, until 2000. The Mark II was succeeded by the Mark X in 2004, although the Mark II Blit (a wagon variant) is still being sold.
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