2018 Toyota Century Is Japan’s Idea Of A Rolls-Royce, For Half The Price

Favored by Japan’s emperor, as well as high-ranking government officials, wealthy businessmen, and even Yakuza bosses, the Toyota Century is Japan’s most exclusive luxury model. You can think of it as the Rolls Royce or Bentley of the Land of the Rising Sun.

Now, Toyota’s flagship has been fully redesigned after over two decades in production, or 21 years, to be precise. That’s a long time for a model to remain virtually unchanged whichever way you see it, but that’s how Toyota rolls (pun intended) with the Century as the model has only seen three generations in the 50 years since its birth.

Revealed to the world for the first time last fall, the completely redesigned 2018 Century has been released as a Japan-only model with prices starting from 19,600,000 yen ($177,716), without tax, recycling fees and, of course, optional extras.

Retaining a classic shape, the third generation Toyota Century has a slightly larger footprint than the car it replaces. It now measures 5,335mm (210in) long, 1,930mm (76in) wide, and 1,505mm (59.2in) tall, with a 3,090mm (121.6in) wheelbase.

As you’d expected, opening the door reveals a luxurious cabin, with individual rear seats and plenty of room for the occupants, who will keep themselves busy with a lot of functions. What you might not expect if you’re not accustomed to Japanese tradition and preferences when it comes to luxury, are the wool velour covered seats. Still, you can  get it with leather, if that’s your thing.

The equipment list includes a 16-inch rear seat entertainment system, high-end audio, and 7-inch touch panel in the rear center armrest that allows passengers to control the massage function of the seats, curtains, air conditioning and sound system.

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Toyota has also fitted the car with an electronically controlled air suspension and claims that body rigidity was improved through the use of structural adhesives. Moreover, there are newly developed suspension arms, bus, mount and tires, along with other rubber parts, which reduce road vibration and increase ride comfort. The active noise control system could have been left out from the new Century, either.

The Toyota Safety Sense driving assistance features are also part of the package. These include Blind Spot Monitor, Parking Support Alert, Pre-Collision System, Lane Departure Alert, Radar Cruise Control, Adaptive High Beam and HelpNet. The latter activates automatically if the airbags deploy, and an operator will contact the local authorities, informing them of the incident.

Powering the 2018 Toyota Century is a 5.0-liter V8 hybrid-gasoline engine, rated at 381PS (376hp / 280kW) and 510Nm (376lb-ft) of torque, aided by a 224PS (221hp / 165kW) and 300Nm (221lb-ft) of torque electric motor. The latter is fed by a nickel-metal battery and the automaker claims a total output of 431PS (425hp / 317kW).

Making sure that exclusivity is maintained, Toyota targets monthly sales of only 50 units. All cars are produced at the Higashi-Fuji plant, in the Land of the Rising Sun.


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  • Spideymanz

    Bring this to America!

    • Matt Johnson

      Sorry, it’s Japan only.

  • Gustavo Adriano

    I would prefer this one, than a Rolls! It’s amazing!

    • emjayay

      I would prefer anything to the current Deutschland Cartoon Rolls, including the new model.

  • This car has a strange appeal despite it’s retro look…

  • dumblikeyou2

    Wow, the updates to the Continental make it look like a different car almost. Interesting.

  • Steve Cohn

    Toyota needs to produce a decontented version of the Century and sell it in the U.S. as a replacement for the discontinued Lincoln Town Car. You’d see them all over NYC.

    • Loquacious Borborygmus

      I don’t think Toyota would want that.

    • Status

      And dilute the Crown by having 2 year old models appear on used lots for $3000? I don’t think so.

      Decontenting and luxury is an oxymoron. You never race to the bottom.


    • Cobrajet

      They should do that with the Crown instead.

  • Dennis James

    Looks like a refurbished 80’s car. No thanks…

  • James Foote

    Wow, this literally looks like it came right off the showroom floor in 1982

  • Victor Ferreira

    It’s missing the V12, but it looks really good on the outside.

  • Ary Wisesa

    I once got the chance to ride in a Century Limousine (the predecessor of this one). It was truly magnificent ride. It’s much much more comfortable than an S600 or Lexus LS600h. The cabin is roomy, extremely quiet, and calm. It literally glides on the road, so effortless. The engine is truly engineering marvel, so smooth and quiet. Hopefully I could be given a chance to ride in this latest version.

  • I always love Century, beside their very conservative styling, I always prefer anything than Leather, and Wool is among the best, I always wonder how comfy it is.

    Also out of curiosity, Century was never really for Yakuza, Century is default vehicle for politicians (Since you can’t get Debonnair and President anymore) and conservative businessman. Yakuza loves to driven cars that are flashy or inspiration from their heroes, before 80s, that means American Cadillac and Lincoln. From 80s upwards until today, it’s big S class, almost exclusively with black paint and window tint.

    • Alfa Giulia QV

      So if I see a black S Class with tinted windows it’s the Yakuza and I should run?

      • I’m not joking, don’t mess with big S Class with tinted window in Japan, especially in a very sketchy place like Roppongi.

      • Autoexperte

        The Yakuza recognizes every Japanese already in the perfectly fitting suits and appearance

    • Javier Bl

      Not at all, a lot of bosses had the Century. And some years ago japanese saloons like the Celsior (Lexus LS) and the President/Cima were quite popular.

      • My opinion is based on Robert Kaplan book called “Yakuza” which is a very comprehensive book that detailed not just their history, but also habits and customs. I’m not saying all the bosses exclusively used Mercedes, but it is a common, and when I visit Japan, whenever I cross places like Roppongi, there is always park Mercedes S Class with tinted windows, I’m just saying.

  • Dennis Scipio

    It’s classy which I like but I feel if it would sell in the USA, I’d rather have it sold as a Lexus. It only makes sense, at least that’s my opinion.

    • Loquacious Borborygmus

      You’re perfectly entitled to it as well but I can’t say I have ever disliked a car because of the badge on it.

  • TheBelltower

    Looks like a ton of effort and tech for a vehicle that looks like it belongs to a dictator in a starving third world country. If you want to be driven around in a sinister looking brick, the design of a Chrysler 300 is more luxurious looking than this.

  • pcurve

    Usually only see these in Black and gray wool interior, but I’m loving the white leather with cream exterior!



  • benT

    LHD drive means you get bring one to Australia or some Euro countries. Does USA have vintage car status whereby the second hand 25 years old version can be imported?

  • Marshall Boyce

    I love this so much. Bring back formal rooflines!

  • In case you didn’t realise, the guys shown on the video clip are not washing the car. They re polishing, using running water.

  • Marty

    Looks like the designers went home before they got to the front. And the interior. So someone just spray painted the placeholder cardboard surfaces.

    Otherwise it looks ok.

  • emjayay

    Currently, in Japan, Yakuza is regulated by law and can not purchase Mercedes Benz. They are on a minivan.

  • Bash

    I wish Cadillac makes ones like this.

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