The Toyota Century sedan is a hidden gem behind a mystical fog of Japanese hills. It is Toyota’s crown jewel, their rival to the Bentleys and Rolls-Royces of the world. And now, Toyota has decided to take a full-fat Olympic sized dive into the super-luxury SUV segment. To extend the metaphor, the splashes from this dive have gone and painted bulls-eyes at the rear bumpers of the Bentayga & the Cullinan, so watch out brits, it might be payback for 1941!
The Century sedan is perhaps the longest surviving car model to still be sold, it was introduced back in 1967. And now, almost 56 years later, the Century moniker will be borne by another car, the new Century-SUV. However, unlike the sedan which was shrouded within Japanese boundaries, the Century-SUV will be a global product, which means, yes! It just might wander its way to Indian shores.
Inside sources suggest that the Century-SUV will be based on the Toyota Highlander platform and will be a monocoque SUV, that makes it better for the road. Just accept it, it’s not going to be another Land Cruiser.
One let down about the Century is that it will not get a V12, it will be replaced by a petrol-hybrid powertrain. So yeah, it’s a Prius! I’m sorry but the truth is bitter!
Just to get your stomach churning about the Century cars, the sedans are even hand painted. They're actually wet sanded by hand, then hand polished to a true mirror finish. A total of four people in the world are skilled enough to paint a Century, though they've taken on two apprentices. A Lexus has four layers of material (including primer and clear coat) in its paint job. The Century has seven. I'm not saying seven layers of paint, as the Century has many more than that. Rather, there are seven materials used to complete the mirrorlike paint job. Expect a similar or higher level from the SUV.
The significance of this car will fly over our collective Indian heads, and let's be honest—you're still struggling to get past the idea that Toyota will soon sell an SUV that costs over 6 crores, three times the price of the Land Cruiser. But, think of this, Mercedes makes the bulk of Europe’s garbage trucks and taxis and yet S class owners don’t give half a damn about it! So it’s all about the stealth wealth mindset!
Words: Sresht Garg
Picture Credits: Carscoops