Toyota Mark II is a brand name used by Toyota for its series of sedan introduced in1968 as Toyota Corona Mark II. It was an entirely new vehicle that was designed and developed in a way to fulfill all the Japanese government regulations regarding maximum vehicle dimensions and engine displacement. Although, it was based on the established platform of Toyota Corona, it was a hint larger and wider than the regular Corona.
With the launch of Mark II, Toyota aimed to offer a vehicle as a competitor to the new released Nissan Laurel (in Japanese market) and the Nissan Bluebird/Datsun 510 (in international market). Previously, Toyota was popular in presenting the small, economy car manufacturer, but the Mark II was an attempt to enter an international market as a more established automaker. The Mark II provided the world with a front mounted engine, rear-wheel drive car that was considerably larger than the Toyota’s previous models. In addition to this, Toyota kept the traditions of offering the vehicle in an economical way and with no compromise on fuel economy. The Mark II’s fuel economy was far better than the prevailing vehicles with larger straight 6 and V8 engines.
Over the time, Mark II gained a decent amount of fame all over the world. Two variants of Mark II were announced by the company, although both were sedans, they acquired different approaches and styling. In 1977, the sportier Toyota Chaser was launched and the high performance luxury sedan, Toyota Cresta was released in 1980. Where Japanese and other international automakers kept producing the vehicles of same size and class, the Mark II reached the peak level of popularity in the 1980s.
The Mark II has already seen the nine generations where each generation brought new upgrades and models to experience. The Mark II was offered with variety of engine variants that ranged from a 1.8 liter straight-4 cylinder to a turbocharged 2.5-liter that pushed the 280 horsepower (209 kW) self-imposed limit of the Japanese auto industry.
Mark II Blit (2002-2007)
In 2002, the rear-wheel drive Mark II Blit was released that replaced the front-wheel drive Mark II Qualis. Mark II Blit had a renewed front end as well as much sportier interior equipment. It was offered in 5 trim levels including the 2.5 iR-V, the 2.5 iR-S, the 2.0 iR, the 2.5 iR-S Four and the 2.0 iR Four.
The Mark II Blit remained in production with the iR and iR-S model while the iR-V model was dropped due to hard emission standards. In 2004, Mark X was introduced.