More than half a year since its Tokyo Moto Show reveal the completely redesigned Toyota Century has been launched in Japan.
The Century first showed up in 1967 and was released to commemorate the 100th birthday of Sakichi Toyoda, founder of the Toyota Group. For more than 50 years the Century has served as the chauffeur-driven model of choice for Japan and remains a favourite among executives across all industries.
The new 3rd generation Century sees its first full redesign in 21 years. The development theme blends the concepts of legacy and evolution. It carries on the tradition of master craftsmanship and high-quality monozukuri while the hybrid system realizes high-demand environmental performance, and an interior and exterior design injects new charm into the Century in line with its heritage. The new Century features advanced equipment and comfort amenities suitable for a luxury car, and numerous improvements have been made to achieve serenity and cruising stability.
The outline reflects the Japanese aesthetic of passive symmetry while employing a proprietary ideology that focuses on creating a regal rear seating space. The silhouette is easily recognizable as a chauffeur model. By straightening the slope of the C pillar, the design focus of the cabin shifts to the rear, heightening the importance of the rear in appearance.
The side design achieves a beautiful curvature to the doors enhanced by a surface treatment used in Heian period (794-1185 C.E.) room partitions on the character line of the shoulder portion. Two distinguishing lines have been polished at an angle with only a slim space between them so that they appear as a single, prominent line, lending the body an air of dignity and excellence.
Heritage prevails in the phoenix emblem, carefully engraved over a six-week period by a craftsman. The unmistakable emblem portrays the vibrant movement of the wings and delicate feathers, while the grille serves as an ornate backdrop, featuring an infinite loop crown pattern that exudes a dignified panache.
The newly developed colour is an eternal black, dubbed Kamui. The rich coating consists of seven layers, including a clear coating containing black paint to give the impression of a black lacquer finish. Sanding and polishing, based on traditional Japanese lacquer craftsmanship, give the car its deep lustre and shine. A wet sanding technique is carried out three times to smooth out the minute unevenness. The body then receives a mirror finish to ensure there is not the slightest cloudiness or dullness in colour.
An increase of 65 mm in wheelbase creates a more spacious rear seat and ample leg room. The height difference between the scuff plate and floor has decreased by 15 mm to ensure the floor mats lay flat when installed. This also improves ease of entering and exiting the car.
The interior features wood trim to create a distinct rear seating space, a raised ceiling design, and exclusive fabric with a slanting lattice motif to create a refined, rich look.
The step-less adjustable power leg rest and massage function (in the left rear seat) ensure a comfortable ride.
The 11.6 inch rear seat entertainment system, 12 channel audio amp, and 20 optimally positioned speakers create the perfect ambiance. Also equipped with a 7-inch touch panel in the center armrest which enables passenger control of the audio system, air conditioning, massage function, and curtains.
Newly equipped with a 5.0-liter V8 hybrid system, the Century offers a smooth, spacious ride worthy of a chauffeur-driven model and first-rate environmental performance. The vehicle delivers 13.6 kilometers per litre fuel efficiency.
Skilled craftsmen dedicate time and effort to ensure optimized noise-proof measures, including the seamless installation of noise-proofing materials. The active noise control system additionally reduces noise and vibration when the engine starts and achieves smooth acceleration and utmost serenity in the cabin.
In addition to an electronically controlled air suspension with an AVS function, body rigidity was improved through the use of structural adhesives. Both driving stability and premium ride comfort are fine-tuned using newly developed tires, suspension arms, bush, mount, and other rubber parts specialized for ride comfort and reduced road vibration.
The Century comes newly equipped with Toyota Safety Sense and also features a Blind Spot Monitor to detect oncoming vehicles in adjacent lanes, as well as Parking Support Alert, which helps parking by detecting the surrounding conditions.
A monthly sales target for Japan has been set at 50 units. It retails for over S$230,000 (19,600,000 yen) and will be assembled in the Higashi-Fuji plant.