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Toyota Century (2007)
I totally love these cars.
But what about the emperor of Japan’s version? The Toyota Century G51 Royal. It’s absolutely gigantic.
The Toyota Century Royal is the official state car currently used by the Emperor of Japan, being a specially prepared Century, a one-off ¥52,500,000 (US$500,000) custom car. The car was produced at the request of the Japanese Imperial Household Agency, to be used by senior members of the Imperial House of Japan. This special version has wool cloth upholstery, internal granite entry steps and Japanese washi rice paper headlining for the passenger compartment, as well as undisclosed security measures. The front passenger compartment is upholstered in leather. With the introduction of the third generation Century in 2018, the tail lights on the Century Royal are vertical, while the civilian Century maintains horizontal tail lights across the back of the vehicle.
Five vehicles were originally ordered, but due to the individual cost for each only four were built. According to the translation of the corresponding article on Japanese Wikipedia, one car called Imperial 1 (皇1) is used by the Imperial Palace. Another was built as a hearse in 2008, known as Imperial 2, and was used for the funeral of Prince Mikasa 27 October 2016. Imperial 3 and Imperial 5, due to additional security equipment installed, cost ¥94,500,000 (US$851,445) each, are assigned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The designation “Imperial 4” is not used because the number 4 is considered unlucky. Each vehicle that is used for official transport is given a small round badge attached to the grille at the right with the kanji character for “emperor” (皇) along with an Arabic number.
The suspension consists of double wishbones for both the front and rear wheels, supplemented by air-bag support springs. The engine used is the 5.0 L-V12 shared with the standard Century with horsepower rated at 280 PS (206 kW; 276 bhp) and 460 N⋅m (340 lbf⋅ft) of torque at 4000 rpm. For various state functions, additional conventional Century sedans are used with a designated “Imperial” number roundel.
This vehicle replaced the fleet of four 40-year-old Nissan Prince Royal limousines that were beginning to show their age. After the Prince Royals were no longer deemed appropriate by the Imperial Household Agency, the Emperor and Empress had been seen riding in a conventional Century until the Century Royals were ready for service. The Century Royal is exclusive to the Imperial Household and was presented for service on July 7, 2006. When the Emperor is riding inside, the Imperial Standard is displayed on the top of the grille. An additional roundel, known as the Imperial Seal of Japan is also displayed at both the front and rear of the car in place of a license plate, and on the exterior of both rear passenger doors, displaying a 16-petal chrysanthemum in golden colour, denoting the Chrysanthemum Throne of Japan.
The limousine stretches around 20 feet in length and 6.5 feet across, —the same length as a Maybach 62 and both longer and heavier than a 2003 Rolls-Royce Phantom. Previous Emperors were driven in a Nissan Prince Royal (1967–2008), Cadillac Series 75 (1951–1970), Mercedes-Benz 770 W07 Series (1932–1968), Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost (1921–1936), and a Daimler (1913–1927).