As you might know, the Japanese have their own version of the Rolls-Royce Phantom called the Toyota Century. Since 1967, there have been three generations of Century, all of which are limousines. However, as you might also know, ditching is part of the nature we live—or so it appears. Someone ditching someone for someone else happens all the time. What I mean is, if a car name is associated with a certain bodystyle, it is not necessary that it has to be associated with that bodystyle forever.
I mean, the Ford Mustang is now also an SUV, and the Corolla is no longer only a sedan, right? If that’s the case, why can’t a Toyota Century also be an SUV?? Asks Toyota looking at the Rolls-Royce Cullinan. Well, I don’t have an answer, but fair enough.
The Century SUV looks like Cullinan’s long-lost sibling raised by Japanese parents, isn’t it? But that’s how the Century always looked like—a Japanese version of a British luxury limousine. In that sense, this new Century SUV is just continuing the tradition. The four-pod headlight design is mimicked at the rear, and as has been the tradition, the Century continues to use a Phoenix logo. But anyway, the Century SUV will be available only in a single variant at launch, with a base price of JPY 25,000,000 (INR 1,41,05,305 or US$ 169,346).
Built on the TNGA (GA-K) platform shared with several Toyota and Lexus models, the Century SUV measures 5,205 mm long, 1,990 mm wide and 1,805 mm tall, with a wheelbase of 2,950 mm. It is a bit shorter than the Century sedan in terms of length, but still a humongous vehicle. But the so-called “Dynamic Rear Steering” (four-wheel steering system) should make things a bit easier for the driver.
Inside, as you can probably tell, special focus has been given to the rear seat occupants with fully reclining individual rear seats, an entertainment system, digital controls on the centre console, and of course, a refrigerator. As soon as you open the rear door, there’s an automatic retractable power step to make getting in and out easy. As for the driver, there’s a 12.3-inch HD touchscreen and a 12.3-inch digital cluster. More information is available in the brochure here (Japanese).
Moving on to the juicy bits of the story, the Century SUV is a plug-in hybrid vehicle that combines a 3.5L naturally aspirated V6 petrol engine, two electric motors (E-Four) and a 51 Ah battery pack, offering a system power output of 303 kW (412 metric hp). Transmission is—as you might have guessed it—an eCVT. Toyota claims an all-electric range of up to 69 km (43 mi), which should be sufficient if you just go to your office daily.