What started off as a wild rumour at the beginning of the year has now been officially confirmed by Toyota. During the double presentation of the new Alphard and Vellfire MPVs, a Century SUV was previewed in the background with a shadowy teaser image. The premiere is scheduled to take place in the following months when the Japanese brand hopes to take an "impressive step" to "change the future of cars."
Toyota refers to the high-riding Century as an addition to the range, which likely (and hopefully) means the traditional saloon that has been around since 1967 will not be discontinued. Those who attended the event were able to take a better look at the teaser, and while we can't use the photos they've taken, we can firmly say it looked a lot like a Japanese version of the Rolls-Royce Cullinan.
2018 Toyota Century
Multiple reports have indicated that the Century on stilts will cost roughly three times more than a base Land Cruiser while doing away with the off-road chops. In fact, the two won't allegedly even be mechanically related as the ultra-luxury SUV from Toyota is believed to be based on the Highlander / Grand Highlander but larger and fancier. It's said to be roughly 5.2 metres (205 inches) long and almost 2 metres (78 inches) wide, while having a hybrid powertrain with an electrically driven rear axle.
The Century won't be the first long-running Toyota nameplate to get the SUV treatment as the same thing happened with the company's second-most luxurious model – the Crown. In fact, it has blossomed into a four-vehicle lineup with a strange high-riding saloon, a traditional saloon, an SUV, and a smaller crossover.
The Crown will be sold in about 40 countries, so it'll be interesting to see whether Toyota intends to go global with the Century as well. The absolute flagship model has mostly been a Japan-only affair but some cars have been exported throughout the years. Why is there an SUV version coming? Toyota believes it has to "evolve as it moves toward the future."
As a final note, fans of the brand will remember the second-generation model, sold between 1997 and 2017, was the firm's only production car with a V12 engine.