Toyota currently has two high-end products under the Century brand, and a news report now suggests that Century will soon become the carmaker's standalone range of luxury models. The Century range of cars will not just be limited to Japan, but will also be sold in more global markets.
- Toyota Century currently has two models
- Century SUV with LHD was shown in China recently
- Century brand is in existence in Japan since 1967
Toyota Century: a global brand in the making
The Century brand is reported to be positioned above Toyota's luxury brand, Lexus. It is planned to represent the ultimate in luxury, technology and exclusivity from the Japanese automaker, according to a report by Forbes, citing an internal source with knowledge of the matter. The Century range of models will take on the likes of Bentley, Rolls-Royce and Mercedes-Maybach.
At the recent Tokyo Auto Salon, Toyota displayed the one-off sport-oriented GRMN Century SUV. Additionally, there have been a series of recent trademark filings for the Century name made by Toyota in various countries outside of Japan – supporting the news of the brand spreading its wings.
Since 1967, Toyota has been selling the Century high-end luxury sedan in Japan built for niche customers and heads of state. Last year, the brand added the Century SUV to its flagship range. The Japan-only Century range of cars and SUVs are built as right-hand-drive vehicles only.
Century SUV has some common bits with Toyota, Lexus models
The Century luxury SUV is based on Toyota’s GA-K platform, which it shares with the Toyota Grand Highlander and Lexus TX SUVs sold in the North American market. The SUV gets a petrol-hybrid powertrain, which is also common to other Toyota and Lexus models. A transversely mounted, turbocharged 3.5-litre V6, electric motor and lithium-ion battery with a combined 406hp power the Century SUV.
Century LHD SUV shown last year
At the Guangzhou motor show in November last year, Toyota announced that the Century SUV will also get a left-hand-drive version for sale in the Chinese market. Back in 1998, Toyota did build limited units of the Century sedan in left-hand-drive iteration, but the order was placed on hold after just 100 units were built, making those extremely rare currently in the international used car market.
Toyota builds the Century sedan at its Motomachi plant and production is limited to just 50 units a month. The Century SUV is built at the Tahara plant in Japan.
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