Automakers tend to update or change the exterior designs of vehicles every three or four years; however, there are some exceptions to the rule. Chevrolet dragged its heels on a major update of the C4 Corvette, but Toyota takes top prize with its Century luxury car.
Until this year’s refresh, the Japanese maker hadn’t made any changes in two decades. The car was originally introduced the vehicle at the Tokyo Motor Show in 1967 and the third-generation model will be unveiled at the same show later this month.
“The intricately glamorous and chic exterior is highlighted by traditional Japanese design elements used throughout the car including the grille and black trim on the rear combination lamps,” the company notes.
The next-gen Century gets an evolutionary update on the outside, but gets receives big changes to its internals. The biggest update is the swap of the second-gen model’s V-12 powerplant with a hybrid powertrain that features the 5.0-liter V-8 from in the previous-generation Lexus LS600hL and a pair of electric motors.
(Toyota set to build first hybrid model in U.S. Click Here for the story.)
The new set up produced a combined 438 horsepower, which is 162 hp more than the outgoing V-12. Although, if you are a member of a royal family, you can still get the V-12. Toyota didn’t release any updated stats on the V-12.
Clearly the Century is a uber-luxury vehicle, competing with the Rolls-Royce Ghost and the Bentley Flying Spur, but even those get a touch up every five years or so. The Century is often the choice of politicians or top executives.
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It makes sense for them, the 210-inch long car offers plenty of room in the back for meetings on the go. However, those meetings will be taken in extreme comfort as the plush interior comes in a variety of cloth, including 100% wool in some parts. Leather is an option, although not standard because its noisier than cloth, according to reports.
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The next-gen model comes with all of the latest technology for occupants to ride comfortably, and be productive including built-in massage units for rear seat passengers, writing tables and reading lights, and a massive infotainment display with a 20-speaker sound system controlled with a touch-screen panel in the center console.
New tech inside also means new tech for safety as the Century comes with a slew of new active safety features such as automated emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, automatic high-beam headlights and lane-departure warning.
(Toyota set to reveal electrification strategy at 2018 Detroit Auto Show. For the story, Click Here.)
The new Century to be unveiled in Tokyo is a prototype, but it’s unlikely there will be many changes for the production version, which is expected to be available mid-2018 in Japan. However, since you’ve unlikely seen one on U.S. roads, you can expect that to continue as there are no plans to bring it to our shores. No pricing has been announced.