Toyota Unveils Its Iconic Chauffeur-Driven Century as an SUV

Exclusive to the Japanese market and limited to a production of 30 units a month.

Automotive
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Toyota has unveiled an all-new Century, a premium vehicle that has dominated Japan’s chauffeur-driven market since 1967, this time, as an SUV.

The new model, set to launch later this year, blends traditional Japanese design aesthetics with modern technical elements for an elevated driving and passenger experience. At its core, Toyota says that the Century has always embodied “omotenashi,” the Japanese spirit of hospitality but with evolving needs in the chauffeur industry, Toyota’s development team introduced this new model under the theme “The Chauffeur” — with the design catering to passengers using their travel time for rest or online meetings.

At the exterior, the Century reflects a “stately grandeur,” showcasing both horizontal and vertical design features, drawing inspiration from a loom shuttle motif and in our opinion, slightly reminiscent of a Rolls-Royce Cullinan from the side profile but only slightly. This design is further enhanced by the “kichomen” chamfering, giving expression to a unique Century worldview. The vehicle’s mirror finish and phoenix emblem, both handcrafted by master artisans, speak to the vehicle’s attention to detail.

Inside the Century, passenger comfort becomes the priority, with the spacious cabin accentuated by rear seats that fully recline and boast a “refreshment function,” which we can only assume to mean a massage feature. Additionally, sound is a notable element of the vehicle, with an audio system developed by music industry professionals, Toyota promises an immersive auditory experience similar to a live performance. While you’d likely prefer to ride instead of drive this one, the cockpit isn’t left behind and is equipped with the most up-to-date features for ease of use.

As for where it gets its power, the Century sports a 3.5L V6 plug-in hybrid engine, functioning as a BEV for daily commutes and an HEV for longer journeys. Toyota says the system is not only ideal for chauffeurs but also for those who love to drive. Additionally, the SUV boasts a “Dynamic Rear Steering” system and a novel “Rear Comfort mode,” ensuring seamless handling and maximum comfort for passengers.

Lastly, structural innovations designate the luggage compartment to a separate structure, with the use of noise-reducing laminated glass between the cabin and cargo area to reinforce Century’s reputation of unparalleled quietness.

Designed exclusively for the Japanese market, the new Century will be limited to only 30 units per month and is set to start at approximately $170,000 USD.

See the vehicle’s official reveal in the video below.

In other automotive news, BMW unveils the Vision Neue Klasse: a fully-electric concept car.

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