Many corners of the automotive world are still in shock over the recent launch of Toyota Century SUV. So it’s understandable that amidst the hubbub one might have missed the fact that Toyota teased a convertible Century SUV during flagship’s unveiling. It flashed on screen for just a few seconds, but it was there, clear as the tonneau cover on a Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet.
This wouldn’t be the first luxury convertible SUV, but the body style is rarely visited by automakers. In recent memory there’s the open top Range Rover Evoque, which like the Murano CrossCabriolet and not-for-sale-in-America Volkswagen T-Roc, loses its two rear doors when the roof gets chopped. The Century appears to keep all four.
Mercedes-Benz made a Maybach G550 Landaulet, but even when the top is down the door frames are still present so it’s not quite the same thing. The closest we’ve found is the one-off, four-door Hyundai Santa Fe convertible, a car that was never meant for production.
In Japan there are often droptop versions of luxury cars built for the royal family so they can wave to the citizenry during parades and such. The Century sedan has been customized for such duties, and the result is a dignified, elegant machine. There was also the absolute baller Lexus LS 600h L Landaulet built for Prince Albert II of Monaco’s wedding ceremony. Needless to say, these are one-offs not available to us peasants.
Toyota showed the Century SUV convertible as Toyota’s Chief Branding Officer Simon Humphries explained how it will present new opportunities for customers to order bespoke builds. One example was the GRMN version, a counterpart to former President Akio Toyoda’s own Century GRMN sedan. Customers will also get to choose paint color, interior materials and even the style of door, whether it be a traditional front-hinged opener or a sliding unit like on a minivan.
“The opportunities are only limited by your imagination,” Humphries said. “The possibilities are endless and open to discussion.” he continued with a grin as an image of the convertible SUV flashed on the screen. So perhaps Toyota will offer a convertible to non-royals as well down the road. For now, the mass-produced — a relative term, as they are only building 30 a month — Century SUV will begin production by the end of the year, with the tailor-made options to follow.