The Toyota Century: Japan's Elegant Symbol of Prestige

A Unique Representative VehicleIn the realm of prestigious automobiles, each major country has its own state car: the United States boasts Lincoln or...

The Toyota Century: Japan's Elegant Symbol of Prestige
The Toyota Century: Japan's Elegant Symbol of Prestige
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A Unique Representative Vehicle

In the realm of prestigious automobiles, each major country has its own state car: the United States boasts Lincoln or Cadillac, the British have Bentley and Rolls-Royce, the USSR and Russia had the ZiS/ZiL and the Aurus Senat, and Germany long embraced the iconic Mercedes 600. In France, presidential cars have often varied between the three largest French manufacturers: Citroën, Peugeot, and Renault. Meanwhile, Japan possesses an exceptionally distinctive representation vehicle—the Toyota Century.

A Mobile Office and State Car

The Toyota Century exudes discrete elegance on the outside, serving as a mobile office for Japanese ministers and a state car for the Imperial House of Japan, thanks to its specially designed body. With its serially produced Japanese V12 engine, the Century secures a unique position. In 1997, the second-generation Century soared to the top of the prestige league.

The perfect epitome of refined comfort is the benchmark set by the Century in the realm of representative class vehicles, as evident from its modest maximum power output of 280 horsepower. In Japan, luxury driving pleasure is synonymous with silent travel. As soon as the doors of the Toyota Century, equipped with complex sound insulation, close, silence and tranquility envelop the occupants. Even when the V12 engine accelerates vigorously, only a whisper is heard. This is one of the reasons why Emperor Akihito enjoyed perusing the daily newspapers during his outings in the Century.

30 Years of History

Production commenced in 1967, and for 30 years, the model underwent only minor modifications. It was not until 1997 that the Century underwent a fundamental redesign. The name "Century" was chosen because its market launch coincided with the hundredth anniversary of Sakichi Toyoda, the founder of Toyota Industries. The name itself sounds the same in both Japanese and English.

The Current Toyota Century

The current Toyota Century, introduced in 2018, upholds the legacy of its predecessors while embracing modernization. Typically painted in black, the Century embodies the Japanese perception of luxury—its seats predominantly upholstered in wool. Electrically controlled lace curtains adorn the rear window and rear side windows. As a vehicle that symbolizes lifelong hard work leading to modest success, the Century stands out from other Toyota models as it does not bear the usual logo composed of three ovals. Instead, it features a stylized golden phoenix, the emblem of the Imperial House of Japan. Additionally, the letter "C" is displayed on the C-pillar.

Tags: Toyota Century, luxury cars, state cars, symbol of prestige, Japanese automobile industry

06 Kas 2023 - 14:18 - Classic Cars

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