Elevating Chauffeured Travel: Toyota’s Distinctive Luxury Vehicle

Toyota’s latest creation, the new Century variant, challenges traditional classification. While many might perceive it as an SUV at first glance, the Japanese automotive giant asserts that this model transcends the boundaries of a standard SUV. Instead, as described by Toyota Times (as reported by Motor1.com), the $167,000 vehicle represents the next evolution in “chauffeur-driven mobility.”

The new Century, despite its outward appearance, defies the SUV label. With heightened ground clearance, an extended roof reaching to the vehicle’s rear, prominent wheel arches, and contrasting body cladding, it’s tempting to label it as a luxury SUV, reminiscent of vehicles like the Rolls-Royce Cullinan or Bentley Bentayga. However, Toyota’s chief engineer, Yoshikazu Tanaka, has a different perspective.

Tanaka elucidates, “We arrived at this profile by focusing on the backseat passenger, pursuing a car that inherits the unique Century character while catering to the diversifying values of the times.

It features a newly developed 3.5-liter V6 plug-in hybrid system generating approximately 400 horsepower, coupled with all-wheel drive facilitated by a rear-mounted electric motor. The primary allure of this commanding vehicle lies in its interior, which can be customized according to individual preferences. 

Although the specifics of this interior remain undisclosed, it promises to offer the utmost luxury and comfort, complete with fully reclining rear seats and optional sliding rear doors. This lavishness comes at a price, with the Century costing over three times more than the new Land Cruiser.

One of the most intriguing aspects of this new Century is its availability outside of Japan. Historically, except for a limited number of second-generation left-hand drive models, the vehicle remained exclusive to its home country. 

However, in September, Hiroki Nakajima, the company’s executive vice president, hinted at a broader reach, stating that the vehicle would be “offered to customers in all regions of the world.” While an official announcement for the U.S. market is pending, the prospect of this non-SUV becoming available there appears quite promising.