Air suspension, massage seats, and infotainment system... in 1997.
The Toyota Century was first introduced in 1967 as the company’s most luxurious, most powerful, and most expensive new car. It had a V8 engine until the second-generation model debuted in 1997 and introduced the brand’s only V12-powered car to date. One of the first produced examples from the second-gen Century is the star in one of Carfection’s latest videos on YouTube.
The stately sedan from the clip has a 5.0-liter V12 powertrain under the good, which is good for 276 horsepower (206 kilowatts) and 355 pound-feet (481 Newton-meters) of torque, mated to the early four-speed automatic gearbox. It’s by far not a performance vehicle, despite the massive engine, as the focus here goes to the unprecedented comfort of traveling that no other Toyota can offer.
Gallery: 2018 Toyota Century
The Century is still the first and only Japanese front-engine, rear-wheel-drive production car equipped with a V12, and it is Toyota's first and only V12 engine to date. With the ever-stricter emissions standards coming into force constantly, we doubt the Japanese manufacturer will ever introduce a new V12 engine. In fact, the third generation of the Century switched to an electrified V8 engine.
Back to this 1997 Century, it has absolutely everything you can think of that was invented by the automotive industry back in the mid-1990s. This includes air suspension, massage seats, automatic climate control, electrically adjustable steering column, and many other features you are probably not used to seeing in a 23-year-old car. It even has a rear-seat infotainment system!
And the engine is an absolute masterpiece - a classic naturally aspirated V12 that, in the highly unlikely event of mechanical failure, can still power the car by one of its two separately operated V6 engines, each with its own ECU. How cool is that?
Note: 2018 Toyota Century pictured in the gallery.