Make / Model Search

Future models - Toyota - Century

Toyota’s uber Century morphs into an SUV

Top of the town tempter to rival the likes of Bentley Bentayga and Rolls-Royce Cullinan

11 Sep 2023

SOURCING a suitable large car to chauffeur important people has become somewhat easier in Japan with the appearance of Toyota’s new Century SUV to rival the likes of Bentley Bentayga EWB and the Rolls-Royce Cullinan…. at a fraction the price.


Where the boxy, bus-like Roller and Bentley ultra-luxury SUVs sell for upwards of $A500,000 plus on roads, the similarly styled Toyota Century may be ordered in Japan from a likely ¥25 million ($A266,000) making it the bargain of the… Century.


The model has been around for decades in Japan in sedan (limo) form and is still a favourite with the Japanese super-wealthy and/or super important classes… particularly in black and always chauffeur driven. The Century sedan is still available brand new and will sell alongside the SUV-style newcomer.


No surprise then that this SUV-style Century, built on a version of Toyota’s global TNGA platform (yes, similar to the TNGA-F under LandCruiser 300 and Tundra), is focused on the last word in luxury… for up to three passengers, perhaps four.


It is interesting to note that the new high-end luxury model is branded Toyota and is not from luxury Toyota brand Lexus.


If examples do make it to Down Under, the new Century will almost certainly not be through Toyota Australia which has a different sales focus but could arrive here through so-called JDM (Japanese Domestic Vehicles) channels… as a grey import.


It is an imposing vehicle that weighs in at nearly 2600kg and features an almost cloned appearance akin to both the Rolls Cullinan and the Bentayga.


Not what could be termed aesthetically pleasing, the Century no doubt cossets its occupants in a cocoon of absolute luxury short of a first-class capsule on a large passenger aircraft.


But according to Toyota, the Century, “Meets the demands of a new age, developed under the concept of “The Chauffeur” fully embracing the ideas of inheritance and evolution associated with the Century, the “new shape combines elegance, comfort, and functionality”.


Toyota’s spiel continues… “Century is based on a concept of human-centeredness, the interior space is designed to provide an even safer and more comfortable travel experience for rear-seat passengers as well as the driver”.


The Century development team deliberated extensively on the direction for this new model to ensure customers experience a level of hospitality exceeding their expectations. Parameters included the capability to function as a mobile office or a respite zone to allow for rest and refocusing.


Toyota will offer the new Century bespoke… fully customisable allowing buyers to essentially build their Century specifically to their own needs and requirements.


Like the Roller and Bentley, the Century’s exterior is “immaculately” finished down to the finest detail in the hands of master craftspeople exemplified in the exquisitely engraved phoenix emblem and the mirror finish duco.


Four set-back lamps for each of the headlights and tail-lights give the vehicle a distinctive visage from both ends while the interior space is designed to realise comfortable travel time boasting fully reclining rear seats with functions that allow rear-seat passengers to truly relax, including a refreshment system.


Audio is suitably high-end while the rear doors, that open to a wide 75-degree angle onto a sweeping cabin floor, facilitate easy entry and exit. Convenient automatic retractable power steps and easy-to-grab C-pillar grips also support access for rear-seat passengers.


The cockpit is equipped with functions and features for professional drivers (chauffeurs) and focus on “ease of use”.


Power comes from a newly developed petrol 3.5-litre, petrol V6 plug-in hybrid AWD system adapted from various Toyta and Lexus products that is said to deliver a powerful and exhilarating drive feel while retaining a quiet ambience.


The plug-in hybrid system is designed to function as a BEV for everyday use and as an HEV for long-distance travel, making it the “ideal” powertrain for a chauffeur-driven vehicle.


A four-wheel steering system called “Dynamic Rear Steering” provides easy handling at low speeds and seamless, natural handling at medium to high speeds as well as providing parking assistance.


For the ultimate in plush ride, the Century has a “Rear Comfort” mode for wafting that also assists braking control to suppress jolts when the vehicle comes to a halt.


The body’s torsional rigidity is uprated in line with vehicle expectations, performance, and weight while ride comfort has been augmented with noise-reducing clear laminated glass used on the cabin side of the cargo space separator to properly insulate the cabin from the cargo area.


Read more

Click to share

Click below to follow us on
Facebook  Twitter  Instagram

Toyota models

Catch up on all of the latest industry news with this week's edition of GoAutoNews
Click here