Toyota confirmed rumors of a luxurious SUV called the Century at the reveal of two new minivans for Japan. The Toyota Century SUV is expected to resemble the highest echelons of luxury SUVs, but be available at a considerably lower price. Unfortunately, it doesn't sound like it'll be a true counterpart to the ultra-luxury Century sedan, but rather a competitor to the likes of the Genesis GV80.
The vehicle was hinted at by Toyota board member Simon Humphries after presenting the new Alphard and Veilfire minivans, which are not sold in the United States.
"The Century is the ultimate chauffeur experience, but it too will have to evolve as we move to the future," Humphries stated as a dimly lit outline of a vehicle filtered in on the screen behind him. "Later in the year, I hope to have the chance to share the outcome of that story with a new edition to Toyota's chauffeur series... It will certainly be an impressive step in our mission to change the future of cars."
The image of the vehicle wasn't clear in the video, but lightened versions in Japanese media have confirmed it to be the side profile of an SUV. This confirms the rumor that Toyota will produce an SUV with the Century luxury sedan's nameplate.
According to Best Car, the Century SUV is less an equivalent to the exclusive luxury sedan than it is a more affordable alternative. Its styling is reported to resemble that of a Rolls-Royce Cullinan, while its length of 204.7 inches puts it firmly in full-size territory between the 300-series Land Cruiser and 2023 Sequoia. With a price range said to span $70,000 to $105,000, it'll also stand above the Grand Highlander, as well as bridge the gap between the Lexus RX and LX.
While the Century sedan uses a 5.0-liter hybrid V8, the Century SUV is said to use a lesser 3.5-liter V6, akin to the LS500H and LC500H. It'll reportedly pair with electric motors on each axle for all-wheel drive, and a system output of around 454 horsepower. The engine is said to be mounted transversely however, indicating the Century SUV won't share a platform with Toyota's new-gen trucks or full-size Lexus luxury models.
Production of the Century SUV is expected to begin later this year, with an official launch coming in early 2024. As the Century badge only carries weight in Japan, it's likely not coming to the United States, despite the Crown nameplate finally returning. It'd also stand to cannibalize the company's own sales, with the full-size SUV segment being already covered between the Sequoia, Land Cruiser (Prado), LX, and GX. That just means you'll have to wait 25 years to get your hands on one, should you catch feelings for the SUV rather than the superior sedan. There's no accounting for taste, as they say.
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