For more than 50 years the Toyota Century’s been a Japan-only car that over the years probably sits somewhere in between Mercedes-Benz S Class, BMW 7 Series, Bentley Motors Flying Spur, Arnage, Turbo (old) Mulsanne and Rolls Royce Cars Silver Shadow, Silver Spur, Silver Spirit, Silver Seraph and the fairly new Ghost. It’s a cultural thing. The British are into their Connelly hided interiors, the Germans making cars that last on the Autobahn, while the Japanese care less about leather to prefer lambs wool, but get it when it comes to horsepower and handling.
For the last 50 years Toyota Century sat on two different sequential platforms, and after over 20 years on the last, has an all new third version out. It’s impressive. His Imperial Majesty the Emperor of Japan and his family and probably the Japanese Prime Minister are driven around in these beauties.
What disappoints me is that Toyota hasn’t taken it globally and hasn’t rebranded it Lexus that it should be. Lexus is now Toyota's luxury brand, why haven’t they made their premiere top of the line flagship Toyota saloon a Lexus, finally?
I have driven a Lexus LS 460L to be quite impressed with its handling to often wonder what the Century is like.
With tweaks and changes this could have been Lexus’ Spur or Ghost killer to sit on top of the LS in the lineup, and could have been assembled customer bespoke made to order globally. The car however remains a Toyota and only for Japan. Perhaps this is why there will be no change.
Understandably Toyota may want to keep the Century for themselves in the home market.