Toyota is set to unveil a new vehicle on September 6, and a teaser photo together with previous comments from a senior executive point to it being an SUV version of the Century flagship sedan.
The Century is a big, boxy sedan that has spawned just three generations over a history dating back more than half a century. Limited to a handful of select countries, the Century is used primarily by dignitaries, including the Emperor of Japan. Its hallmarks include a powerful engine, acres of room, and the ultimate in Toyota build quality.
A teaser photo released by Toyota on Wednesday shows a vehicle with a similar boxy design to the Century, though there's clearly a tailgate present. A white-gloved hand reaching to open the rear door also suggests the vehicle is aimed at buyers with a chauffeur on hand.
During a presentation in June for the introduction of Toyota's redesigned Alphard and Vellfire minivans, Toyota Chief Branding Officer Simon Humphries hinted that a new version of the Century was planned for a reveal later in 2023.
2018 Toyota Century
“The Century is the ultimate chauffeur experience but it too will have to evolve as we move toward the future,” he said. “And later in the year, I hope to have a chance to share the outcome of that story with a new addition to Toyota’s chauffeur series.”
Rumors point to a Century SUV being developed on either Toyota's TNGA-K platform found in vehicles like the Grand Highlander and related Lexus TX, or the automaker's premium TNGA-L platform found in vehicles like the Toyota Mirai and Lexus LS. Those same rumors also point to the vehicle being exported to a much wider array of markets, including potentially the U.S.
The Century sedan was last redesigned for 2018. The latest generation is longer than a Mercedes-Benz S-Class and comes powered exclusively by a 5.0-liter V-8-based hybrid powertrain that sends its output to the rear wheels.