the Toyota Century isn’t a “Japanese Rolls-Royce.” The Century is very much its own thing. It’s Japan’s interpretation on the ultimate luxury automobile and unlike any other car, luxury or otherwise, ever made.ADVERTISEMENT
It sits at the very top of Toyota’s lineup, above even the Lexus LS flagship. After driving the Alphard and Crown, I’ve finally leveled up to drive Toyota’s premium Japanese domestic lineup with the Century.
(Full Disclosure: Toyota of Japan loaned us a Century to drive for a few days with a full tank of gas.)1 / 2
Amazingly, in its 52-year history, there have only been three generations of Century. The latest one made its public debut on its 50th anniversary at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show
It’s gone all modern and eco-friendly with a polar bear-hugging 5.0-liter V8 hybrid under the bonnet, replacing the second-generation’s much-discussed but rarely-heard V12.
The Century in unashamedly aimed towards Japanese buyers and Japanese buyers only. The Century isn’t fussed about like S-Classes, Flying Spurs, or even Ghosts. It doesn’t need to compete with them on a global scale because it’s not meant to.
The Century is a rare breed today: a car designed for one single market. It’s one of the best cars because of it.1 / 2
What Is It?
Yet there’s nothing groundbreaking about the Century. It’s a sedan with four doors, a boot, an engine, and four wheels. But it’s the details and the history behind the Century that makes it the special automobile it is.
Honed over decades, the Century is made with unmistakable craftsmanship. Toyota limits production of the Century to just 50 a month, partly to keep exclusivity but also because that’s as many as even a corporate megalith can make.