Toyota on Saturday unveiled a convertible version of its new Century SUV.
Don't look for it in showrooms, though. The vehicle is strictly a one-off build to haul around sumo wrestlers, The Yomiuri Shimbun reported.
It was built for the Japan Sumo Association, which celebrates its centennial next year, and was requested by retired wrestler Hakuhō Shō, a close friend of Toyota Chairman Akio Toyoda. The reveal took place at Tokyo’s Ryogoku Kokugikan, where the winner of the year's first Grand Sumo Tournament will be paraded in the vehicle.
“I’m grateful that the Century was chosen as the car that only the champion can ride in,” Toyoda said.
Toyota normally supplies vehicles based on its Crown for the parade but wanted to deliver a more prestigious vehicle this year. In addition to the missing roof, other modifications made to the Century SUV included reinforced suspension springs to handle the extra weight of any sumo wrestlers filling the seats. The rear bench was also raised.
The Century SUV made its debut last fall. It's the first SUV to carry the Century nameplate, and currently it's only on sale in Japan. Availability in other markets hasn't been announced, though there are rumors the SUV will be more widely available than the sedan, which was only sold in a handful of markets. The sole powertrain on offer is a plug-in hybrid system with a 3.5-liter V-6, with drive routed to all four wheels.