[UPDATE] New teaser attached at the top shows the front fascia with split horizontal headlights. We can also observe the special Phoenix badge confirming the model will be badged as a Century.
What started off as a wild rumor in Japanese magazines earlier this year is a week away from materializing. After turning the Crown into a subset of models, Toyota will be doing the same with an even more prestigious nameplate – the Century. The Japanese automaker doesn't explicitly say it’s about to release a Century SUV, only mentioning that a "new car presentation" will be held on September 6 on its official YouTube channel.
However, the sole teaser image all but confirms it's a high-riding Century since the chauffeur wearing gloves is about to open the rear door. The traditional sedan, which has been largely sold only in Japan, has always been a chauffeur-driven vehicle, so Toyota wants to maintain the tradition with its SUV counterpart. The preview strongly suggests the vehicle has a tall body with a tailgate instead of the saloon's trunk lid.
This isn't the first teaser as Toyota originally provided a glimpse of the Century on stilts in the second half of June during the premiere of its Alphard and Vellfire minivans. Details are not available but we've been hearing some interesting rumors about how the SUV won't be mechanically related to the namesake sedan. Instead, it might be an ultra-posh variant of the Grand Highlander, stretched to about 205 inches long.
Power for Japan's Cullinan is said to come from a plug-in hybrid setup borrowed from the Lexus TX 550h+. The latter has an electrified 3.5-liter V6 producing a combined output of 406 horsepower and an unspecified amount of torque. As a refresher, the Century sedan is sold with a V8 while its predecessor had a mighty V12 – the only Toyota production car with a twelve-cylinder engine.
The Century SUV is said to be significantly more expensive than the Land Cruiser but it will still undercut the sedan. We're hearing Toyota intends to sell it exclusively with two-row seating, and unlike the Japan-only sedan, there could be plans to export the model.