After beautifying the Tokyo Motor Show in October 2017 with its timeless Rolls-Royce-esque design, the Toyota Century has gone on sale in Japan. It comes to replace the previous generation of the large sedan, which was available for no less than 21 years in the Land of the Rising Sun where it serves as the company’s range-topping model.

Described by its creator as being a “cutting-edge chauffeur-driven model,” the new Century has an exorbitant starting price to match its flagship status. Toyota wants a whopping 19,600,000 yen, which works out to $178,183 / €152,750 / £134,009 at current exchange rates. With such a steep asking price, it comes as no surprise the monthly sales target is of only 50 cars.

The supremely classy sedan is even roomier than its predecessor after a stretch of the wheelbase of 65 millimeters (2.55 inches) to guarantee stately legroom for rear passengers relaxing on the massaging and ventilated rear seats. There’s also more headroom than before thanks to a newly developed raised ceiling taking inspiration from an architectural ceiling design to provide extra height in the central area. Getting in and out of the car is easier than before as a result of a height reduction of 15 millimeters (0.6 inches) between the scuff plate and the floor.

The lavishly equipped interior has all the bells and whistles you could think of, including an adjustable power leg rest and a rear-seat entertainment system with a massive 11.6-inch screen. There are a whopping 20 speakers installed all over the cabin, along with a 7-inch touch panel between the rear seats from where the passengers can access a variety of functions, including the electrically operated curtains for extra privacy.

Then there are the things you can’t actually see, such as the abundance of sound-deadening material and an active noise control system to diminish the vibration and noise generated when the engine is fired up and also during acceleration. An electronically controlled adaptive air suspension guarantees a silky smooth ride as you’d come to expect from the most luxurious Toyota ever made.

Not that deep-pocketed owners will care a great deal about what powers their king-sized luxury sedan, but the new Toyota Century is offered exclusively with a hybrid powertrain consisting of a 5.0-liter V8 gasoline engine and an electric motor. The V12 engine of the previous generation is no more, but with a combined output of 425 horsepower (317 kilowatts), the new electrified setup actually has significantly more punch considering the old twelve-cylinder unit was rated at 276 hp (206 kW).

The V8 combustion engine in the new Century is good for 375 hp (280 kW) at 6,200 rpm and 510 Nm (376 lb-ft) from 4,000 rpm while the electric motor is rated at 221 hp (165 kW) and 300 Nm (221 lb-ft).

Toyota is now taking orders for its locally built crown jewel of the range, which given its price tag, will undoubtedly be a rare sight on the streets of Japan.

Source: Toyota

Gallery: 2018 Toyota Century

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Toyota Rolls Out First Fully Redesigned Century in 21 Years Carrying on the tradition of master craftsmanship, evolving into Japan's cutting-edge chauffeur-driven model

  • Modern, state-of-the art design embodies tradition and dignity
  • Luxurious cabin space befitting VIP rear seat passengers, delivering a serene and premium comfort ride
  • 5.0-liter V8 hybrid system offers outstanding fuel efficiency
  • Newly equipped with advanced safety technologies, including Toyota Safety Sense

Toyota City, Japan, June 22, 2018―Toyota Motor Corporation (Toyota) announces the launch of its completely redesigned Century in Japan and the start of sales at all nationwide "Toyota" dealers (including for the Tokyo area Toyopet and "Toyota" dealers).

The Century debuted in 1967, and was released to commemorate the 100th birthday of Sakichi Toyoda, founder of the Toyota Group. For more than 50 years the Century has served as the chauffeur-driven model of choice for Japan and remains a favorite among executives across all industries.

The new 3rd generation Century sees its first full redesign in 21 years. The development theme blends the concepts of legacy and evolution. It carries on the tradition of master craftsmanship and high-quality monozukuri (all-encompassing manufacturing) while the hybrid system realizes high-demand environmental performance, and an interior and exterior design injects new charm into the Century in line with its heritage. The new Century features advanced equipment and comfort amenities suitable for a luxury car, and numerous improvements have been made to achieve serenity and cruising stability.

Monthly sales target for Japan

50 units

Assembly Plant

Higashi-Fuji Plant, Toyota Motor East Japan Inc.

Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price

19,600,000 yen (Includes consumption tax and does not include recycling fees. Separate pricing applies for Hokkaido and Okinawa.)

Vehicle Outline

  1. An attractive external design that infuses tradition and dignity
  • The outline reflects the Japanese aesthetic of passive symmetry while employing a proprietary ideology that focuses on creating a regal rear seating space. The silhouette is easily recognizable as a chauffeur model. By straightening the slope of the C pillar, the design focus of the cabin shifts to the rear, heightening the importance of the rear in appearance.
  • The side design achieves a beautiful curvature to the doors enhanced by a surface treatment used in Heian period (794-1185 C.E.) room partitions on the character line of the shoulder portion. Two distinguishing lines have been polished at an angle with only a slim space between them so that they appear as a single, prominent line, lending the body an air of dignity and excellence.
  • Heritage prevails in the phoenix emblem, carefully engraved over a six-week period by a craftsman. The unmistakable emblem portrays the vibrant movement of the wings and delicate feathers, while the grille serves as an ornate backdrop, featuring an infinite loop crown pattern1 that exudes a dignified panache.
  • The newly developed color is an eternal black, dubbed Kamui. The rich coating consists of seven layers, including a clear coating containing black paint to give the impression of a black lacquer finish. Sanding and polishing, based on traditional Japanese lacquer craftsmanship, give the car its deep luster and shine. A wet sanding technique is carried out three times to smooth out the minute unevenness. The body then receives a mirror finish to ensure there is not the slightest cloudiness or dullness in color.

*1A traditional Japanese design. Infinite loop design quartered off into sections that symbolizes harmony, prosperity, and flourishing posterity.

  1. Elegant cabin space befitting VIPs
  • An increase of 65 millimeters in wheelbase creates a more spacious rear seat and ample leg room. The height difference between the scuff plate and floor has decreased by 15 millimeters to ensure the floor mats2 lay flat when installed. This also improves ease of entering and exiting the car.
  • The interior features wood trim to create a distinct rear seating space, a raised ceiling3 design, and exclusive fabric with a slanting lattice motif4 to create a refined, rich look.The step-less adjustable power leg rest and massage function (in the left rear seat) ensure a comfortable ride.
  • The 11.6 inch rear seat entertainment system, 12 channel audio amp, and 20 optimally positioned speakers create the perfect ambiance. Also equipped with a 7-inch touch panel in the center armrest which enables passenger control of the audio system, air conditioning, massage function5, and curtains.

*2Dealer option

*3The raised ceiling is an architectural ceiling design with additional height in the center area.

*4The manji design symbol represents perpetual prosperity for the home and longevity.

*5The massage function is in the left rear seat. An air bladder is embedded in the back of the seat. When it inflates it applies the appropriate level of pressure to the shoulders and lower back.

  1. Powered by a 5.0-liter V8 hybrid system for a most serene riding experience achieved through master craftsmanship
  • Newly equipped with a 5.0-liter V8 hybrid system, the Century offers a smooth, spacious ride worthy of a chauffeur-driven model and first-rate environmental performance. The vehicle delivers 13.6 kilometers per liter6 fuel efficiency (under the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism's JC08 test cycle).
  • Skilled craftsmen dedicate time and effort to ensure optimized noise-proof measures, including seamless installation of noise-proofing materials. The active noise control system7 additionally reduces noise and vibration when the engine starts and achieves smooth acceleration and utmost serenity in the cabin.
  • In addition to an electronically controlled air suspension with an AVS8 function, body rigidity was improved through the use of structural adhesives. Both driving stability and premium ride comfort are fine-tuned using newly developed tires, suspension arms, bush, mount, and other rubber parts specialized for ride comfort and reduced road vibration.
Main specifications of the hybrid system
Engine Model 2UR-FSE
Displacement 4,968 cc
Maximum output 280 kW [381 PS] / 6,200 rpm
Maximum torque 510 N・m [52.0 kgf・m] / 4,000 rpm
Motor Maximum output 165 kW [224 PS]
Maximum torque 300 N・m [30.6 kgf・m]
Complete system 317 kW [431 PS]
Battery Nickel-metal hydride

*6Values based on MLIT testing

*7The system uses anti-phase noise reduction

*8Adaptive Variable Suspension System

  1. Advanced safety functions suitable for a top-class car
  • The Century comes newly equipped with Toyota Safety Sense and also features a Blind Spot Monitor to detect oncoming vehicles in adjacent lanes, as well as Parking Support Alert9, which helps parking by detecting the surrounding conditions.
Toyota Safety Sense functions
  • Pre-Collision System (PCS), which helps prevent and mitigate collisions with vehicles and pedestrians ahead.
  • The Lane Departure Alert (LDA) system uses a warning buzzer and display to alert the driver when the vehicle is about to deviate from its lane, and includes an added steer assist capability.
  • Radar Cruise Control (with All-speed Tracking function) helps maintain proper distance from the vehicle ahead.
  • The Adaptive High Beam System (AHS) shields against excess light from preceding vehicles and oncoming vehicles, automatically turns the high beams on and off, and is equipped with a 24 LED light array on the side.
  • The vehicle boasts two new additional features. HELPNET®10 is an automatic emergency reporting system that activates if the airbag is deployed. In such cases, a HELPNET system operator automatically contacts the authorities (police and fire departments). The D-Call Net®11 service can make swift decisions to dispatch air and ground ambulances if the accident is estimated to be severe based on vehicle data.

*9Rear Cross Traffic Alert uses radar to detect vehicles approaching from behind. Clearance sonar and rear sonar use ultrasonic sensors to detect obstacles at the front corners of the vehicle and behind the vehicle while driving at a slow speed.

*10HELPNET is a registered trademark of Japan Mayday Service Co., Ltd. The service needs to be activated prior to use.

*11D-Call Net is the registered trademark of Helicopter Emergency Medical Service Network (HEM-Net). 

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