Update: ‘Design’ section updated.
Toyota is apparently working on an SUV version of the legendary Century sedan, Japan’s revered chauffeur-driven model that is hand-made at Toyota Motor East Japan’s Higashi-Fuji Plant. The upcoming luxury model is referred to simply as the “Toyota Century SUV” and will come with a hybrid powertrain, as per the BestCarWeb story from December 29, 2022.
The Japanese publication has also released a series of predictive renderings for the Toyota Century SUV. Based on the images, we can clearly see that the front fascia of this upcoming SUV takes generous inspiration from its sedan namesake. The wide main grille has been garnished with chrome and looks quite simplistic, while the rectangular headlamps seem to feature multiple LED elements for that upmarket luxury aesthetic. One peculiarity that’s apparent is the SUV has been rendered with Toyota logos, whilst the Century sedan actually comes with the brand’s own emblems.
The relatively flat but chiseled hood of the sedan seems to have made its way into the SUV as well, while the latter’s front bumper appears more blunt and integrates a taller air intake in the center. The lower apron, too, seemingly misses out on chrome but does add a faux skid plate and rectangular fog lamps. If it’s indeed modeled after the sedan, the Century SUV shall also get a long hood, which will only make it that much more intimidating.
The renders do indicate the Century SUV to feature flat body panels along the sides, but with a pronounced shoulder line and flared wheel arches. The latter may not look too aggressive, but the apparent size of the alloy wheels indicates them to be massive – perhaps between 21-23 inches. There is silver garnish running the length of the car, whilst the window surrounds and door handles are likely chrome finished. Equally visible are the extended rear overhang and the broad rear pillars.
As per renders, the rear portion of the Toyota Century SUV looks relatively simple with no over-the-top design flairs. However, the steeply-raked windscreen and a roof-mounted spoiler neutralize some of the monotony. The taillights are also rectangular in shape and seem to sport a band of chrome around the outside edges. A closer look at the liftgate reveals what seems to be a thin LED light bar. The aft bumper is just as flat as the one up front and scores a silver garnish at the bottom. Meanwhile, the Japanese magazine Mag X has carried what appears to be the first spy photos of a Century SUV test mule in camouflage.
According to the Japanese publication, at the tape, the Century SUV will be around 5,200 mm (204.7 in.) in length and 1,950 mm (76.7 in.) in width. It’s reportedly 1,750 mm (68.9 in.) tall and has a wheelbase of 3,000 mm (118.1 in.). For reference, the wheelbase of the Lexus LX is 112.2 in. and that of the new Sequoia is 122 in. Interestingly, the latter is longer as well – stretching 208.1 in. Then again, keep in mind that the figures for the Century SUV are not official.
|Length||5,200 mm / 204.7 in.|
|Width||1,950 mm / 76.7 in.|
|Height||1,750 mm / 68.9 in.|
|Wheelbase||3,000 mm / 118.1 in.|
|Curb Weight||2,200 kg / 4,850 lbs.|
Interior & Features
There are no renders depicting what the interior of the Toyota Century SUV would look like. However, considering the fact that it will likely go head to head with other luxury SUVs of its stature, there’s a good chance that the cabin would be optimized to carry four adults in absolute comfort and bliss. With no third row to contend with, Toyota can utilize every inch of the cabin to offer a no-compromise experience for the VIP. We expect two configurations: chauffeur-driven and personal use.
Like in the new Century sedan, Toyota may focus on keeping the upcoming SUV’s interior devoid of much visual clutter. Unlike every other modern luxury car, the Century has long used a special breathable fabric instead of leather. However, the third-generation model can be optioned with leather upholstery, alongside well-finished wood trim, and ‘Century’ branding. There’s a real possibility that the Century SUV may also follow the same path. Being the company’s flagship product, the Century SUV’s cabin will undoubtedly feature plenty of sound-deadening measures to ensure a tranquil experience for everyone onboard.
Toyota will probably equip this SUV with more convenience-oriented features than it did in the sedan – it’s an all-new model, after all. In our wishlist for the Century SUV are adaptive dampers, a powered sunroof, electrically-adjustable seats with integrated climate control & massaging functions, a multi-zone automatic HVAC system, rear-seat entertainment screens, window blinds, and a modern infotainment system with smartphone connectivity.
Since the Century sedan already gets the Toyota Safety Sense package, we can expect the SUV to offer the latest edition of the same. The package consists of Adaptive High Beam System (AHS), Radar Cruise Control, Pre-Collision System (PCS) that can detect vehicles and pedestrians, Lane Departure Alert (LDA) with Lane Keeping Assist (LKA), Blind Spot Monitor, Parking Support Alert, and all-around parking sensors with a reversing camera (possibly a 360-degree system).
Unlike the sedan, the Toyota Century SUV will reportedly be powered by the same powertrain that does duty in the Lexus LS500h, says BestCarWeb. In its hybrid form, Lexus’s full-size luxury sedan pairs a 3.5-liter turbocharged V6 gasoline engine with two electric motors to produce a combined 354 hp. The AutomotivePress YouTube channel is also speculating that the SUV is to be based on Toyota’s rather ubiquitous TNGA-K platform, which also underpins the new Crown.
Price & Release Date
According to the Japanese report cited earlier in the story, the Toyota Century SUV is to be unveiled in mid-2023, though that might even extend till the end of 2023. With the Century nameplate being so iconic in Japan, and a true limited edition, Toyota will start sales in its domestic market before even considering exports. As for the price, it’s estimated that the Century SUV will cost between JPY 10-15 million (USD 74,810-112,215) in Japan.
The publication cites sources that claim the Toyota Century SUV to be akin to the Rolls-Royce Cullinan in looks. Furthermore, it’s being said that this will be the most expensive SUV from Toyota thus far. Considering it will be the high-riding version of one of the brand’s most cherished vehicles in Japan, we can see that being a real possibility.
While much of its existence is still shrouded in mystery, even the realization of a brand-new vehicle wearing the famed ‘Century’ title is exciting! The Century is a hand-crafted vehicle, and is produced in limited volumes (around 600 units a year). Even if production is expanded, we don’t see the expensive Century SUV arriving in the U.S., where the line-up tops out at the Toyota Sequoia and the incoming Toyota Grand Highlander.
Featured image: Toyota