The new Toyota Century costs as much as a McLaren 540C

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Want a big limo *without* leather seats? Get ready to pay big bucks

Last year, Toyota showed us its new Century. Which looked rather a lot like the old Century. In a world of tech-laden, exotically trimmed limos, it went deliberately against the norm, the highlights of its spec sheet being net curtains, wool seats and a magazine rack. Seriously.

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All of which might mean its freshly announced 19,600,000 yen price tag comes as a wee bit of a surprise, given it currently converts to around S$243,250. An amount that can buy you a properly decked out Mercedes S-Class or Range Rover, not to mention any one of the current crop of Premier League sports cars: Audi R8, Merc-AMG GT, Porsche 911 Turbo, McLaren 540C…

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None of which, of course, have net curtains, wool seats or a magazine rack. Not unless you have everyone at McLaren’s MSO secret ops team on speed dial.

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There is some actual technology in the Century, too; it pairs a good old fashioned V8 engine with some new fangled hybrid stuff, while there’s a 20-speaker stereo and a full suite of anti-crash systems.

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It’s also got rarity on its side. Toyota plans to build just 600 a year, with its intensely handmade nature slowing the production process down so it neatly matches probable demand for a $250k saloon car with the same badge as a Camry.

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There’s something deeply wonderful about the Century, its appeal so specific that anyone without an enthusiasm for cars simply won’t get it. If anything, a sky-high price tag only reinforces that. Are we right?

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STORY Stephen Dobie

TopGear
Author: TopGear
Top Gear is a British television series about motor vehicles, primarily cars, and is the most widely watched factual television programme in the world.