The Auto Channel
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
Official Website of the New Car Buyer

Toyota to Launch New Century in Japan Century for the next century

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

Toyota City September 6, 2023; A new chauffeur-driven vehicle*1 to meet the demands of a new age, developed under the concept of "The Chauffeur." Fully embracing the ideas of inheritance and evolution associated with the Century, the new shape combines elegance, comfort, and functionality.

  • A bold design with an elegant and graceful silhouette that incorporates Japanese aesthetic elements.
  • Based on a concept of human-centeredness, the interior space is designed to provide an even more safe and comfortable travel experience for rear-seat passengers as well as the driver.
  • The newly developed plug-in hybrid system, which inherits the quietness of the Century and delivers both environmental performance and a powerful, exhilarating ride befitting the future of chauffeur-driven vehicles.

Toyota City, Japan, September 6, 2023―Toyota Motor Corporation (Toyota) unveiled a new Century model and will begin accepting orders today. The new model plans to be launched during 2023 while the Century sedan will still be available.

The Century debuted in 1967 as Toyota's premium chauffeur-driven car. Until then, the Japanese chauffeur car market had been dominated by Western luxury brands. Aiming for a breakthrough, Toyota set out to create a completely new luxury Japanese vehicle that could stand its ground on the world stage. The first-generation Century was built with the best technology Japan had to offer at the time. It was based on the concept of a dignified design incorporating traditional Japanese aesthetics combined with a human-centered approach to achieve outstanding quietness and comfort. For more than five decades, the Century has served as Japan's chauffeur car of choice, embodying an unrivaled spirit of omotenashi, or hospitality, that ensures its important passengers reach their destinations in comfort.

Over that time, the development team has deliberated extensively on a future direction for the Century to ensure that customers experience a level of hospitality exceeding their expectations. In recent years, chauffeur-driven car needs have diversified as passengers seek to utilize their time on the road more effectively by getting rest inside the cabin or participating in online meetings. It was these circumstances that brought the team around to the idea of introducing a new model.

Under the concept of "The Chauffeur," the new model has evolved into a chauffeur car that will continue to meet customer expectations in the years to come while pursuing the essence and inheriting the dignity, quietness, and ride comfort befitting a Century.

The new model of the Century will be fully customizable on a global basis by listening to the needs of each individual customer. The aim is to deliver "freedom in motion―the ultimate freedom of movement" to even more people.

Details of the vehicle are as follows.

Vehicle Outline

  1. The "stately grandeur" theme shows throughout in a dignified vehicle adorned with Japanese aesthetic elements.

  • The exterior is immaculately finished down to the finest detail in the hands of master craftspeople, as illustrated by the exquisitely engraved phoenix emblem and the mirror finish, a luxurious shine resulting from meticulous polishing of painted surfaces.

  1. Interior space designed with the concept of being human-centered to realize comfortable travel time

  • The new Century provides a comfortable interior space with space and functionality that can be used in a variety of situations.
  • Fully reclining rear seats with functions that allow rear-seat passengers to truly relax, including a refreshment function.
  • The finely honed auditory sensibilities and exemplary techniques of a musical instrument manufacturing master were incorporated into the development of the audio system. The result is a comfortable listening space that envelops passengers with the feeling of a live performance.
  • Rear doors that open to a wide 75-degree angle and a sweeping cabin floor provide excellent ease of entry and exit. In addition, convenient automatic retractable power steps and easy-to-grab C-pillar grips also support natural and elegant entry and exit by rear-seat passengers.
Rear door and automatic retractable power step
Rear door and automatic retractable power step
  • The cockpit is equipped with functions and features that support professional drivers and enhance ease of use. It is a space that also allows owners to focus on their driving when they are at the wheel themselves.
Instrument panel
Instrument panel

  1. A powertrain and driving control system realizing a performance for chauffeur or plain driving that exceeds expectations

  • The newly developed 3.5-liter V6 plug-in hybrid system achieves both a powerful and exhilarating drive while retaining the quiet driving suitable for a Century.
  • The new plug-in hybrid system is designed to function as a BEV for everyday use and as an HEV for long-distance travel, making it the ideal powertrain for a chauffeur-driven vehicle.
  • The motor and engine provide powerful and exhilarating acceleration performance, ensuring that the car can be driven not only as a chauffeur car, but also as a driver's car for personal driving pleasure.
V6 3.5-liter Plug-in Hybrid System
V6 3.5-liter Plug-in Hybrid System
  • The four-wheel steering system "Dynamic Rear Steering" provides easy handling at low speeds and seamless, natural handling at medium to high speeds.
  • A Rear Comfort mode that supports the driver's control of the vehicle to ensure a comfortable ride for passengers in the rear is available for the first time. In addition, the Rear Comfort mode assists braking control to suppress jolts when the vehicle comes to a halt.

  1. Body structure and suspension supporting driving performance befitting a chauffeur-driven car

  • Newly developed "luggage compartment separate structure"
  • The body's torsional rigidity and ride comfort have been greatly improved. Noise-reducing clear laminated glass is used on the cabin side of the cargo space separator to properly separate the cabin from the cargo area and achieve the privacy and astounding quietness associated with chauffeur-driven vehicles.
TNGA platform / High-rigidity body
TNGA platform / High-rigidity body
*1 A chauffeur-driven car, chauffeur vehicle, or chauffeur car is a high-end passenger vehicle used primarily for chauffeur services, whereby a dedicated driver transports the owner of the vehicle or other passengers who sit in the rear.
*2 Kichomen is a chamfering method originally used on posts of Heian-period (794-1185) room partitions.


  Century [Reference] Century (sedan)
Length 5,205 mm 5,335 mm
Width 1,990 mm 1,930 mm
Height 1,805 mm 1,505 mm
Wheelbase 2,950 mm 3,090 mm
Couple distance 1,220 mm 1,135 mm
Weight 2,570 kg 2,370 kg
Capacity 4 persons 5 persons

Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price

Powertrain Transmission Driveline Price* (JPY)
(including consumption tax)
Series Parallel Plug-in Hybrid System
(2GR-FXS 3.5-liter V6 engine)
Electric continuously variable transmission E-Four Advanced 25,000,000
* Different pricing applies for Okinawa only. Prices do not include recycling fees or options.

Sales Outline

Century Meisters, a group of sales and engineers with extensive knowledge of the Century brand, will be available at select Toyota dealerships*.

The Meister in charge of sales at the dealership will carefully communicate with each customer and propose a car that meets their needs.

In the future, customers will be able to customize the body color and interior to their liking, and plans will also be available to create a one-of-a-kind Century that will be crafted by master craftspeople. Details will be announced as soon as they are determined.

In addition to three body colors with a mirror-like finish achieved by the skills of our master craftspeople, four exclusive body colors are available for the KIWAMI LINE, an option that offers a distinctive look to customers seeking a more unique chauffeur-driven car to meet a variety of needs.

* Click here for a list of Century dealers (Japanese only)

Base sales volume for Japan

30 units per month

Production Plant

Tahara Plant, Toyota Motor Corporation

Link to the "Century" webpage (Japanese only)

Tokyo, Japan, September 6, 2023―Toyota Motor Corporation (Toyota) held the World Premiere of the Century. The video of the presentation is available below.



Toyota attendee

Simon Humphries, Member of the Board of Directors, Operating Officer, Senior General Manager of Design, Head of Design, Chief Branding Officer

Event detail


Presentation by Simon Humphries

Good afternoon, everyone.

Today marks a special moment for a car at the very pinnacle of the Toyota portfolio―Century.

Century is a singular automobile representing the height of Japanese sensibilities.

Born as the pride of Toyota, Century has become the pride of Japan.

It takes a nation to build a Century.

And that nation is changing.

But to understand the future, we must first understand the past.

Every great product is created by great people.
Through those products, they inspire ever greater accomplishments.

Century was named in honour of one of those individuals.

First introduced in 1967, Century commemorated the centenary of the birth of Sakichi Toyoda, founder of the Toyota Group.

The principles of disciplined creativity that Sakichi lived and worked by remain the core principles of Toyota to this day.

During the development of the first Century in the 1960's, Japan was still a rising economy.
Toyota was yet to compete with exotic imported luxury cars.

When Shoichiro Toyoda commissioned Century, it was a huge gamble.

For over a year, Shoichiro-san worked day and night embedded in the Century team led by Chief Engineer Kenya Nakamura.

Cutting-edge technology alone was not enough―they needed to embrace Japan's heritage and cultural values to create something completely new and unique.

The philosophy that gave birth to Century was handed down from generation to generation.

Throughout this time, Shoichiro-san remained personally involved in the development of all three generations of Century.

For the most recent sedan in 2018, I witnessed this attention to detail firsthand.

Over 90 years old at the time, his single-minded vision for Century was unclouded.

I remember being taken aback by the detail of his questions, down to the exact position of the rear seats.

But millimeter by millimeter, degree by degree...he led us to see what he saw.

To explain this focus,I need you to imagine a day in the life of a Century customer...
...often an individual for whom public service extends to every every moment they are seen.

...Where arrival and departure are the first and last impressions they imbue.

The elegance of the transition from public to private realms is an art in itself.

Century's role was to make that transition as natural and seamless as possible.

His greatest lesson to us...

The key to the finest attention to detail in to show the finest attention to customer understanding.

And that customer is changing...

New generations are leading new industries, with new ways of thinking, and new ways of working.

Akio Toyoda was acutely aware of this.

He knew that Century had to change.

But he also believed that it had the potential to move with the times without sacrificing what it stood for...

He inspired us to embrace those changing times and take a more adventurous path.

A Century that was...
Dignified but bold...
Thoughtful but confident...
Subtle but expressive...

Century's phoenix motif could not be more fitting...

The opening of a new era...

Ladies and gentleman, a Century for the next century!

I think you'll agree, this is a bold addition to the Century legacy.

I remember when we first showed the car to Akio-san, his reaction was a simple, "wow!".

A completely new direction,but still very much a Century.

And together with the sedan,the new vehicle was worthy to stand at the apex of Toyota.

The two wings of the phoenix.

So how did we get to this answer?

It all revolves around the requirements of a unique group of customers.

They need space to work, but also to rest.

They want space to converse, but also to escape.

They seek space to think, but also be inspired.

They value privacy, but also embrace public life...

That is, we needed to create a car that allowed the customer to curate their own personal experiences - both practically and emotionally.

The result is a flagship like no other... and it's uniquely Japanese.

This architecture allows customers to seamlessly move between experiences, by the minute and in the moment.

...And at the centre of this world is the rear seat.

When concentration and productivity is a necessity, everything you need is at your fingertips, but never in your way.

Not only practical elements, but also creating just the right distance for privacy between passenger and driver...

But productivity also requires inspiration and to think and relax.

As the quietest car we make, Century is the perfect environment.

At any speed, occupants can converse naturally without raising their voice.

With the plug-in powertrain the maijority of everyday journeys will be silent―and zero emission.

This, together with four-wheel-steering and four-wheel drive, will allow professional drivers even greater control over vehicle dynamics, providing an even smoother ride for all passengers.

Within this serene environment, you can freely choose the lighting and acoustics to suit your mood...

From electrochromatic glass... an audio system that taps into Japan's experience in creating some of the world's finest musical instruments.

But there are times when sleep is the only answer...

Take off your shoes...
fully stretch out...

...And recline into a cocoon-like environment- your own private oasis.
And these features are just the start...

Naturally, every Century can be tailormadeto your requirements...

Whether that's colour or materials...
or seat configurations...

or even down to how you choose to alight from the vehicle on arrival...

In other words, you can even choose your own door...

Whether thats the ultra wide-opening swing door...
or maybe something more dramatic.

How about that for an entrance?

Rest assured, when your journey comes to an end, you will step out of Century refreshed.

The opportunities are only limited by your imagination...

If you want to drive the vehicle yourself at the weekend, the GRMN will certainly not disappoint...

The possibilities...are endless and open to discussion...

At Toyota, we believe in the value of Freedom in Motion for everyone, whatever their situation or position...

Within this,the role of chauffeur-driven mobility cannot be underestimated.

The car is an expression and extension of the customer's values
Whether that be the sleek elegance of the zero-emission, fuel cell Crown sedan,
Or the ultimate power and space of the Alphard and Vellfire...

we provide the opportunity for people to choose how they wish to express themselves.

Century sits at the tip of Toyota's vision for chauffeur-driven mobility.

It is bold and dynamic, but still retains its discerning taste...
It's inherently simple, but also has great depth...

It is modern, but still has a connection to its heritage...

Century embodies everything that's good about Japanese sensibilities, both aesthetically and conceptually.

The heritage of tomorrow is the innovation of today.

Let's change the future of cars!

Kuruma no mirai wo kaete iko!

Thank you very much for your time.