Toyota is rapidly speeding up the development of its domestic-market luxury car, launching the third-generation Century a mere 21 years after the second was launched. The new car is longer and more spacious, yet even quieter thanks to having new motor mounts and a hybrid V8 replacing the majestic V12.
While the drivetrain seems to have come out of the Lexus LS600h, Century fans like ourselves may be sorry to see that the cassette player is gone now too, having been replaced by what seems to be a CD/SD/USB unit as part of a modern 20-speaker premium audio system.
Toyota made sure to enlarge the door openings, which only enhances the luxury experience provided by the generous 10 foot wheelbase and the raised ceiling. They have also straightened the slope of the C pillar to draw your attention to the rear. There, the Century's occupants can enjoy the benefits of the 100 percent wool upholstery, a step-less, adjustable power leg rest, adjustable rear seats with a massage function and a multi-operational LCD panel located in the central armrest.
Further options include a writing table with reading light, and a rear seat entertainment system with a large-sized display. We would only use that screen for Dragon Ball Z purposes, while getting extremely calm thanks to the Century's "three-dimensional lens of the rear combination lamps that emit a light of harmony."
To make sure nothing in the world can disturb a Century customer, the 5.0-liter 2UR-FSE V8 engine works with Toyota's second generation hybrid drive, as well as active noise control, ultra soft suspension settings and new engine mounts reducing noise and vibration. There's even a two-stage motor speed reduction device to guarantee a quiet and smooth journey.
Needless to say, power figures remain a secret, but to go with the times, Toyota has included collision avoidance support, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross traffic alert as part of the safety package. Because Century people are important people.
Did you know that the right-hand drive Century is totally legal to import to Europe, and works perfectly in the UK, while continental Europeans can just let their chauffeurs deal with it? They can handle it, no doubt.