Tokyo―TOYOTA MOTOR CORPORATION (TMC) announced today a full-model change to the Century, its flagship sedan. The new Century becomes available today from Toyota dealers nationwide.

First launched in 1967 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Toyota founder Sakichi Toyoda, the Century has been praised by executives in many fields as one of the most distinguished automobiles in Japan's history.

"This new model builds upon the well-established grace and comfort of its predecessor," states Century chief engineer Mitsuyuki Noguchi, "incorporating all of the skill and expertise of Toyota's finest engineers and craftsmen to take it to an even higher level of luxury performance."

Time-honed craftsmanship and a mind for detail combine with state-of-the-art manufacturing technologies to ensure the high-precision quality of each component and the unparalleled reliability of every vehicle. Thus, the new Century, replete with leading-edge technologies and regal styling, retains its prestigious place in the automotive world.

Toyota Century (with full options)
Toyota Century (with full options)

Vehicle Overview

Refined Styling and Design

The tradition of beauty and grace that began 30 years ago with the initial Century is continued through exquisite craftsmanship and the use of only the highest quality materials throughout the interior and exterior.

Exterior Styling
  1. The distinctive front-end design centers around the unique Phoenix mark, made with a hand-carved mold, which perches on a refined, grid-shaped front grille and classic headlamp units with built-in fog lamps.
  2. The bumpers consist of superb, hand-finished steel components and shock-absorbing resin parts.
  3. The body emphasizes horizontal flows, while the cabin is balanced with the front and the rear, creating a firm and distinguished profile. As with the previous model, the new Century utilizes aluminum door frames.
  4. The serene and refined rear view consists of combination lamps arranged along a horizontal line, set with an aluminum center ornament.
  5. The full, rich paint tone is achieved by polishing the entirety of the exterior sheet metal and applying up to seven coats of paint.
Interior Design
  1. Several pieces of wood paneling are fashioned from the same piece of wood to maintain a continuous grain pattern.
  2. Only the highest quality materials, such as crystal glass for the dashboard clock, are used for the Century.
  3. Refined Jacquard woolen fabric and the finest leather are used for the seat covers.

Luxurious and Functional Rear Passenger Amenities

An unprecedented quiet and smooth ride for rear-seat passengers, coupled with an interior design that balances functionality with beauty, provides the ultimate in relaxation and comfort.

Rear Passenger Area
  1. A phenomenally quiet ride is achieved through the use of a newly-developed V12 engine that produces extremely little torque variation, a high-rigidity body, strategically placed multi-layer sound absorbing and insulating materials, and exterior surfaces designed to reduce wind noise.
  2. The electronically controlled sky hook air suspension allows for a refined ride at low and medium speeds, and a stable yet smooth ride at high speeds. This already impressive level of comfort is further increased through precise, synergetic control of the engine, transmission, and suspension.
  3. Interior equipment
    • A dual automatic air conditioner that can be separately set for the driver/front passenger and rear passenger areas.
    • Various electronic control functions, such as a seat-slide with a door interface function (which moves the seat back when the door is opened), a seat vibrator, and seat heaters, are standard in the rear passenger area.
    • A multimedia system installed as standard in cars with the dual Electro Multi-Vision (EMV) package includes such features as a GPS voice navigation system, CD player, TV, and FM multiplex text broadcasting.
    • Rear passenger area reading lights with angle and brightness levels that can be adjusted to suit the passenger's position.
    • Rear doors equipped with door closing mechanisms for sensing partially closed doors and automatically closing them.
  4. Functionality and opulence have been skillfully combined by paying careful attention to the movements and sounds made by the rear passenger area vanity mirrors and hidden coat hooks, as well as to the feel of the surfaces that passengers touch, such as door trim and console hatches.
  5. To further ease rear entry and egress, the height from the floor to the door opening has been minimized, the height from the ground to the roof side rail has been increased by 70 mm, and head clearance has been improved.
Front Seat and Luggage Areas
  1. The front passenger area features a seat-back that makes it easy for the passenger to turn around and face the rear passenger compartment, a door assist grip, and a glove compartment with a dual-motion door mechanism that easily accommodates such equipment as a facsimile machine.
  2. The trunk ledge has been lowered by 70 mm, improving ease of use. The trunk capacity has been increased by 100/ to a 500/ (VDA), enabling accommodation of double-stacked suitcases.

Outstanding Acceleration, Handling, Braking, and Safety

Superior performance is provided by an advanced power train that is centered around the newly developed, fail-safe V12 engine. The Global Outstanding Assessment (GOA) collision-safety body design and six Supplemental Restraint System (SRS) air bags raise passenger safety to an unparalleled level.

  1. A newly-developed 5.0-liter V12 BEAMS* engine (1GZ-FE) provides some of the smoothest power available in a luxury sedan. To achieve such refined high-performance, Toyota engineers have implemented slant-squish combustion chambers, iridium electrode spark plugs, and Variable Valve Timing-intelligent (VVT-i) to stabilize combustion in each cylinder.
    *Breakthrough Engine with Advanced Mechanism System
    Additionally, the ultimate in quietness has been achieved by increasing the rigidity of major components, such as the cylinder block and oil pan, and precisely manufacturing the various moving components.
  2. The use of slant-squish combustion chambers, which provide highly efficient and stable combustion, and the VVT-i, which optimally controls valve timing according to rpm and load, results in excellent low/medium speed torque, and impressive passing power in the normal speed range.
  3. Toyota improved fuel economy by about 13% over the previous model to 7.2km/L (10.15 mode), thanks to the development of high-efficiency combustion chambers, use of a high compression ratio (10.5:1), VVT-i, and titanium-coated valve lifter shims.
  4. The advanced Electronic Throttle Control System-intelligent (ETCS-i) provides excellent vehicle acceleration control by precisely regulating engine output according to the degree to which the accelerator pedal is pressed. The driver can select from the following modes
    • Normal mode
      Maintains a smooth ride for rear passengers even when the accelerator is pressed rapidly.
    • Power mode
      Unleashes the full acceleration power of the 5.0/ V12 engine.
    • Snow mode
      Provides accelerator control appropriate for slippery surfaces.
  5. Advanced manufacturing facilities and painstaking craftsmanship guarantee the precise manufacturing of each engine component, providing unparalleled quality and performance.
Automatic Transmission
  1. The automatic four-speed Electronically Controlled Transmission-intelligent (ECT-i)* features linear solenoid valves for smooth shifting and a "superflow" torque converter to produce superior efficiency in all gears, contributing to better fuel economy.
  2. Ascent/descent transmission control reduces the number of gear changes necessary when traversing hilly roads, creating a smoother ride.
Suspension and brakes
  1. Stable handling and a luxurious ride have been achieved by incorporating a new double wishbone design and electronically controlled sky hook air suspension for all four wheels, while continuously regulating damping in response to changing road conditions and car speed.
  2. Large diameter brake rotors coupled with 4-piston aluminum calipers on the 16-inch front wheels fully stabilize braking and prevent braking fade.
Active Safety
  1. Combined with increased handling stability resulting from chassis improvements, the standard anti-lock brake system (ABS) and traction control (TRC) provide superior accident avoidance capabilities.
  2. An advanced tire pressure warning system monitors the four tires independently and is installed as standard equipment in all vehicles.
  3. Intake system components such as air cleaners and surge tanks, electronic throttles, various sensors, electronic fuel injection (EFI) computers, and other advanced equipment have been installed independently in both the right and left six-cylinder banks, making it possible to operate the vehicle on only one bank of cylinders in an emergency situation. Two fuel pumps are also provided to complete the fail-safe engine system.
Passive Safety
  1. With the GOA impact-absorbing body and high-rigidity cabin design, the Century meets the new Japanese side-impact safety standards, as well as Toyota's own stringent collision safety requirements.
  2. A total of six air bags have been installed as standard equipment: dual SRS front airbags, plus four SRS side airbags in the driver, front passenger, and rear passenger areas.
  3. Front, center, and rear pillars and roof side rails are designed to further absorb impact energy, which raises protection against head injuries to the level of U.S. standards scheduled to go into effect in September 1998.
  4. Seat belts equipped with pretensioners and force limiters, which pull the belt snug during the initial impact and then regulate the pressure on the chest area to avoid injury, have been installed as standard equipment in the driver and front passenger seats.
  5. Three-point seat belts have been installed as standard equipment in all seating positions.
  6. An impact-sensing door lock release system is installed as standard equipment.

Environmental Considerations

The most advanced technologies are utilized to conserve natural resources.

  1. The newly developed engine paired with the high-efficiency ECT-i automatic transmission maximizes fuel economy.
  2. The previous type of lead-alloy fuel tank, which could have a negative effect on the environment, has been replaced by one made of a newly-developed aluminum-plated steel.
  3. A front passenger sensor deactivates the front passenger SRS air bag when the seat is vacant to prevent unnecessary repair and conserve resources.

The Utmost Attention to Quality

Steps to assure the ultimate in quality and reliability have been taken throughout the entire manufacturing process. For example, a highly skilled, dedicated staff is assigned to the assembly line, where the propeller shafts are finely balanced after installation and each joint angle is adjusted, and all completed Centuries are subject to a 60 minute/50km driving test.

Sales Overview

  1. Sales channel
    Toyota dealers nationwide
    (The Century will also be sold through Tokyo Toyopet and Osaka Toyopet.)
  2. Monthly sales target
    200 units
Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Prices
Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Prices

*Automatic four-speed Electronically Controlled Transmission-intelligent

The new Century can also be viewed on the Toyota Internet homepage
Main Specifications: Century


  • Century (Dual EMV Package)
    Century (Dual EMV Package)
  • Century
  • Century
  • Century
  • Century (with full options)
    Century (with full options)
  • Century (Dual EMV Package)
    Century (Dual EMV Package)
  • Century (Dual EMV Package)
    Century (Dual EMV Package)
  • Emblem
  • Emblem