One of the perks of being the CEO of a major carmaker is that you can instruct your engineers to build whatever you want.
This, of course, includes exciting cars. How many chief executives do that, however? Not as many as we would want, and that makes Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda really stand out in the crowd. Another great thing about the man is he won’t stop at asking his subordinates to make not just good, but great cars, he will also test drive them — even Toyota’s race cars. He has even raced not once, but thrice in the Nurburgring 24 Hours, finishing second in his class with an LFA in 2013.
Last year, Toyoda was spotted in a one-off Century GRMN, which later turned out to be his company car. As nice and comfy as the rear seats may be, we expected to see Toyoda San behind the wheel rather than sitting in the back. After all, his Century features modifications from Gazoo Racing. Well, we’ve come across a video that shows Mr. Toyoda taking the Century GRMN to the Fuji Speedway.
The video was taken on November 25 last year at the Toyota Gazoo Racing Festival 2018. While he still doesn’t drive the car, he shows it to the spectators as the big limo joins other Gazoo Racing cars including the new Supra, a GT86 race car, the TS050 endurance racer, the Prius GT300 from Japan’s Super GT series, and more.
Watching the 5,335mm (210in) long limousine driving on the track is a pretty cool image, although Toyoda’s jumpsuit-wearing chauffeur drove it in a civilized manner. We still don’t know what mechanical changes Gazoo Racing made to the Century GRMN, but even the standard Century luxury sedan has an impressive spec sheet.
It’s powered by a 5.0-liter naturally aspirated V8 that makes 381 PS (376 hp) at 6,200 rpm and 510 Nm (376 lb-ft) of torque at 4,000 rpm. The gasoline unit is backed by an electric motor that produces 221 hp (224 PS) and 221 lb-ft (300 Nm) of torque, giving the Century a combined output of 431 PS (425 hp).