Enthusiasts often refer to the Toyota Century as Japan’s Rolls-Royce. While the nameplate has denoted a stately sedan since its launch in 1967, the Japanese brand is going after the Cullinan with the first Century SUV. The off-roader was developed for chauffeur-driven buyers.
Only a handful of styling cues, such as an upright front end and squared-off quarter panels, link the Century SUV to the sedan it shares its name with. Up front, designers gave the model a more contemporary look characterized by rectangular headlights with four LED accents and a grille with honeycomb-shaped elements that gradually get smaller. Bright trim cements the Century SUV’s status as the flagship of the Toyota range, while the two-tone paint forges an additional link between the Century SUV and the Century sedan. Out back, there’s a roof-mounted spoiler, lights with four LEDs to mimic the front end’s lighting signature, and “CENTURY” lettering proudly added to the hatch.
Keep in mind that what you see in our gallery isn’t necessarily what buyers will end up with. Toyota stresses that the Century SUV is fully customizable, so customers will have several personalization options to choose from. Rolls-Royce and Bentley offer similar services.
Stretching about 205 inches long, 78 inches wide, and 71 inches tall, the 5,665-pound Century SUV isn’t small; it’s longer and taller than the standard-wheelbase Bentayga and roughly as wide. In this context, however, space equals luxury rather than seats. There’s room for four passengers inside, and Toyota put a major emphasis on rear-seat comfort during the development process. The rear doors open at a 75-degree angle, and the passengers rely on power-operated running boards as well as handles integrated into each C-pillar to step in and out of the cabin as elegantly as possible. Once they’re settled, they enjoy business class-style reclining seats and a built-in drink cooler.
Even the trunk contributes to passenger comfort: it’s separated from the passenger compartment by noise-reducing clear laminated glass. Up front, where Toyota envisions the chauffeur will sit, the SUV offers a digital instrument cluster and a big infotainment system display.
While the Century sedan is powered by a 5.0-liter V8, the Century SUV uses a gasoline-electric plug-in hybrid drivetrain built around a 3.5-liter V6. Powertrain specifications haven’t been released, but we know the model comes standard with a four-wheel steering system and a new Rear Comfort driving mode that “assists braking control to suppress jolts when the vehicle comes to a halt,” according to Toyota. Rolls-Royce packs a great deal of technology into the Cullinan, but this is the first time we write about a function that eliminates brake jolts.
On sale now, the Toyota Century SUV carries a base price of 25,000,000 yen including applicable taxes, a figure that represents about $170,000. You’ll need to wait at least 25 years to put one in your garage: nothing suggests Toyota’s most expensive model will be sold here.