In the United States, the Toyota isn’t traditionally thought of as a high-end luxury car. Yes, they own Lexus – but still, Lexuses (Lexi?) can’t hold a candle to the tippy-top of opulent vehicles, a position firmly held by the likes of Rolls-Royce and Bentley. But in Japan, Toyota’s country of origin, a new Toyota model has been released that bows to no luxury car: the luxurious, intricate and incredibly ornate Toyota Century.
Forged in honor of the 100th birthday of Toyota Group founder Sakichi Toyoda, the Century is a sumptuous design that looks about as unlike a Toyota as most Americans can probably fathom. Meanwhile, in Japan, two previous generations of the Century have made it to the street, and so that handmade phoenix emblem is well recognized, along with the crown-pattern grille, and deep “eternal black” paintjob that swathes the sedan. As compared to the second generation of the Century, the passenger space has grown. The wheelbase has been enlarged 2.5 inches, and the ceiling has been raised for extra headroom. A 7-inch touch screen comes built in to the backseat experience. The left rear seat also comes with massage features and reclining. This cushy vehicle is far from soft, though; a 5.0-liter V8 is matched with a battery-electric system, together yielding 425 horsepower. The car will only be offered in Japan, and in a price range that few have come tom expect from Toyota. But I venture to say that it’s worth it for this dazzling vehicle.