Toyota Century ditches V12 for third generation

The third generation Toyota Century is doing away with four of its cylinders in favour of a hybrid V8 system.

The Japan-only limo has been the home of Japan’s only V12 engine for two decades, but Toyota has announced it will begin using the same drive system as the 2007 Lexus LF – a 5.0-litre V8 with a nickel hydride battery helping things along, and likely enabling a silent electric-only mode.

While it’s a shame there won’t be a 12-pot built in Japan anymore, it’s worth remembering that its production was very limited, as was its output.

Third generation Toyota Century
With an ‘official’ claimed output of 206kW and 481Nm, the 1GZ-FE V12 wasn’t taking the Century anywhere in a hurry, especially with its almost 2-tonne kerb weight.

Even when you consider that its actual output was estimated to be more like 230kW, it wasn’t exactly a performance mecca.

The new (it’s not, it’s been around since 2008) hybrid system should put out close to 330kW, though we don’t yet know just how heavy the new limo will be.

But we do know it’ll be big. Toyota says the incoming Century will be 5335mm long and 1930mm wide, with a 3090mm wheelbase.

Third generation Toyota Century
However, being a limousine, its generous size serves a purpose. A spacious and traditionally comfortable looking interior awaits prospective owners, with 100 per cent wool cloth and a mix of light and dark wood panelling.

Fully adjustable seats with footrests and massage functions are surrounded by creature comforts and utilities such as a writing table (just like an AU Falcon!), an entertainment system, and a 20-speaker premium audio system.

Maybe that’ll help ease the pain of the 1GZ-FE’s demise.

Get your free weekly report from the world of fast cars - subscribe to the MOTOR newsletter!