More than 50 years ago, in 1967 Toyota unveiled the first Toyota Century, to commemorate the 100th birthday of the founder of Toyota group, Sakichi Toyoda. It was considered one of the most luxurious cars of its time. It has since served as the chauffeur-driven model of choice for Japan and remains a favorite among executives across all industries.
The new 3rd generation Toyota Century has received its first full redesign since 21 years. Toyota says, “The new theme blends the concepts of legacy and evolution”. And true to their words, the new redesign retains the timeless imperial design of the iconic Century. But it also adds touches of modern elements to make it stand out. It carries on the state-of-the-art craftsmanship and high-quality manufacturing Toyota is known for.
Toyota aims to sell an ambitious 50 units per month. Considering the steep price of 19,600,000 yen (₹1.2 crore), this car is bound to be an ultra-exclusive luxury car. It will also be sold only in Japan.
The newly developed eternal black color is dubbed as ‘kamui‘ (spiritual being). Toyota has gone to great lengths to perfect this color, giving attention to the minutest of details. The process involves 7 layers of coating to achieve the finish. It also has a clear coat with black paint in it to give it a smooth lacquered finish. They also employ special techniques like wet sanding and polishing to give the car its deep luster and mirror finish.
The overall theme of imperialism is also carried over to the phoenix emblem and the front chrome grille. The phoenix emblem has details of delicate feathers and the grille features an infinite looping crown design, showing off its dignity and royal flamboyance.
The new generation Toyota Century also sees major tweaks in the engine department. It is powered by a 5.0 liter V8 which also uses a hybrid powertrain with a 165 kW electric motor. The combined power output is an impressive 431ps. It also has a staggering amount of torque, 510Nm from the engine and 300Nm from the electric motor. Toyota has gone the hybrid route to offer better fuel efficiency (claimed 13.6 kmpl).
Toyota has also taken great efforts to optimize the cabin noise by integrating noise-proofing materials. The active noise control system additionally reduces noise and vibrations.
Electronically controlled air suspension ensures driving comfort and premium ride quality. Toyota has also used structural adhesives to improve body rigidity. Newly developed tires, suspension arms, bush, mount, and other rubber specialized parts are used to provide fluid ride comfort and reduced road vibrations.
The new Toyota Century comes equipped with advanced safety functions like Toyota Safety Sense, Blind Spot Monitor and Parking Support Alert. Toyota Safety Sense features a few nifty and high-tech features like Pre-Collision System, Lane Departure Alert, Radar Cruise Control and Adaptive High Beam System.
The new Century also features two very advanced safety features, HELPNET and D-Call Net. HELPNET is an automatic emergency reporting system that activates if the airbag is deployed and contacts the authorities. D-Call Net service can make swift decisions to dispatch air and ground ambulances if the accident is estimated to be severe based on vehicle data.
Being a chauffeur driven car primarily, Toyota has given tremendous importance to passenger comfort too. Increased wheelbase translates to increased cabin space and leg room. The interior features wood trims to preserve the imperialistic design theme. It also includes exclusive fabrics to establish a stately feel. The lavish interior is loaded with goodies to make the experience as smooth and memorable as possible.
Toyota Century also boasts an 11.6-inch entertainment system with an astounding 12 channel amp and 20 perfectly positioned speakers to create a culminating experience. It is also equipped with a 7-inch touch panel in the center armrest enabling passengers to control an array of functions like HVAC, audio system, electric extending leg rest, massage functions, and curtains.
This ostentatious model from Toyota is designed to turn heads and to give the finest experience to the passenger. It is a worthy competitor to the Rolls Royces and the Bentleys of the world. But, being exclusive to the Japanese market will disappoint many aficionados and collectors around the world.
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