Toyota’s Century Brand Aims for Ultra-Luxury Status above Lexus

Toyota Century Brand Aims for Ultra-Luxury Status above Lexus | CIO Women Magazine

Source – Forbes

In a surprising revelation at the recent Tokyo Auto Salon, a high-ranking Toyota executive discreetly unveiled the automaker’s ambitious plan to elevate its Toyota Century brand to an ultra-luxury status surpassing even the renowned Lexus. The bombshell dropped as automotive enthusiasts gathered around the Toyota Century GRMN (Gazoo Racing Meister of Nurburgring) concept car, a bespoke SUV owned by Toyota’s ex-president, Akio Toyoda. The GRMN prototype, reportedly costing a staggering $220,000 with options, is an enhanced version of the new Century SUV that made its debut in September of the previous year. 

Toyota Century Brand’s Strategic Positioning

The anonymous executive divulged that the Century brand is strategically positioning itself as Toyota’s pinnacle of opulence, aiming to sit above the internationally acclaimed Lexus. While the current nomenclature refers to it as the Toyota Century, the company envisions a future where the SUV will be simply known as ‘Century,’ and its four-door counterpart, which has seen three generations since 1967, as the ‘Century Sedan.’ The decision to position the Century above the Lexus brand became apparent during discussions about the nomenclature. The executive clarified that the ultra-luxurious Century is set to be a distinct entity, shedding the more commonplace ‘Toyota’ tag.

Global Expansion and Customization

The extent of the Century brand’s global reach is yet to be fully disclosed, but the Toyota executive confirmed plans to introduce the new Century SUV in right- and left-hand-drive versions to various regions, including Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and the Americas. Prospective buyers can choose between the standard Century, priced at approximately $170,000, or the bespoke GRMN version, exemplified by Akio Toyoda’s personal Century GRMN, which hovers around $220,000.

Apart from luxurious paintwork and aero parts, Akio Toyoda’s special Century GRMN boasts a distinctive rail-less powered rear slide door that opens wider than those of large minivans, such as the Alphard. The SUV’s suspension has been meticulously tuned to ensure a stable and flat ride, even when navigating at high speeds. Although details about the powerplant remain scarce, expectations are that the bespoke version will feature the same 406-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 hybrid with all-wheel drive.

Furthermore, Toyota is contemplating offering a fully customized ‘complete car’ version of Toyoda’s bespoke Century GRMN, aptly named the ‘Morizo Edition’ after Akio Toyoda’s moniker in motorsport circles. However, indulging in the Morizo Edition would come with a hefty price tag of around $220,000. The company’s strategic decision to position the Toyota Century brand above Lexus may unfold more comprehensively with the release of additional Century models in the future, indicating a potential shift in the hierarchy of luxury automotive brands.

Also read: Toyota Recalls 1 Million Vehicles In The U.S. Over Airbag Deployment Concerns

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