Japan’s Rolls-Royce is a Toyota

Posted on Oct 10, 2017 by

shows off understated, elegant new third-generation Century flagship that’s like your humble millionaire’s

2018 toyota century

Rolls-Royce prides itself on the Goodwood flagship, the Phantom, its enduring qualities of timelessness and class, present since 1925. In all that time, nearly a century, there have been just eight generations of the Phantom. After the Germans took over, under BMW the Brits have been peddling basically the same since 2003. It lasted 14 years, twice as long as a conventional model lifespan, before being succeeded this year by the all-new eighth-generation Phantom. Or as Goodwood prefers, Phantom VIII.

That’s nice and all, but over in Japan there is a mere Toyota that’s endured even longer – the car giant has been making the for statesmen and presidents since 1967 (as long as you were a Japanese statesman or president because it’s a JDM model only) and in all that time there have been just two generations of the Century. Yes just two – the first they made for 30 years until 1997, and the second’s been going for the last 20 years.

2018 toyota century

Now coming to the starting at the end of this month, Toyota is showing off the new third-generation Century, and sadly the V12 engine is no more (Toyota made its only V12, the 5.0-litre 1GZ-FE, exclusively for the Century model), but it’s all good because there’s a hybrid V8 powertrain in there assumed to come out of the latest Lexus LS.

It’s now also bigger, longer, with a stretched wheelbase and more rear headroom since the Century has always been about the guy in the back. Best of all leather is mostly optional, because the way to go is pure wool everywhere, power foot rests, and a big LCD console in the rear to play with.

2018 toyota century

The chauffeur gets a bunch of safety assistance systems added to the third-gen model, and generally as stiffer body but a softer and more comfortable ride thanks partly to bespoke tyres, new suspension design, and emphasis on decreasing road vibrations and noise.

The understated design means the Century adds a bit of confident class to any setting without the need for garish paint jobs, two tone, pin striping, or diamond-studded trim. If only Toyota would see sense and make it left-hand drive for global markets, but we might have to wait about 30 years for the fourth-generation to see that happen.   

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