Come May 1, Crown Prince Naruhito of Japan will be ascending the throne as Emperor Akihito is set to abdicate on April 30, ushering in the new ‘Reiwa’ era. Together with his ascension to the throne, the soon-to-be emperor will be riding on a new set of wheels as well for his enthronement ceremony – a Toyota Century.
It won’t be any regular Toyota Vios or Corolla though. Naruhito has chosen a Century, which will be a special one-off convertible model, replacing the previous Rolls-Royce Cornish III used during his father’s enthronement ceremony in 1990.
The Century is a very fitting choice for Prince Naruhito’s vehicle during the coronation. It would be ironic if the upcoming Japanese emperor were to ride in a vehicle built by a manufacturer outside of Japan, considering the country’s numerous automakers, wouldn't it? While a Rolls-Royce may be a more ‘luxurious’ model, just by its name alone, but Toyota’s stately sedan is the proper vehicle choice for the incoming emperor, it seems. And why not? It’s definitely no slouch when it comes to luxury touches and features.
For reference, the Century is Toyota’s flagship sedan with the latest generation model introduced at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show. It features increased length and wheelbase, giving rear passengers more space and legroom. Despite being a new model, it still retains the same boxy appearance as its predecessors.
Inside, the interior is lined by a unique wool upholstery, but customers have the option to use leather as well. The second row of seats gets massage controls and a multi-operation panel on the armrest to control seat adjustment, ventilation, and the audio system.
Under the hood, the current-generation Century now uses a 5.0-liter V8 paired with Toyota’s Hybrid System II which produces a combined output of 430 horsepower, ditching the previous V12.
For now, no photos of the vehicle have surfaced just yet. However, expect the open-top Century to make its world debut during a parade in October.
Source: Wall Street Journal