Japan’s new emperor, Crown Prince Naruhito, will use a custom Toyota Century convertible for his coronation ceremony, the Wall Street Journal has revealed.
Naruhito will ascend to his father Emperor Akihito’s throne on Wednesday and commissioned Toyota to build a one-off open-top Century specifically for the occasion. This vehicle will be the first open-top Century ever constructed by the Japanese car manufacturer.
The latest Toyota Century is based around the previous-generation Lexus LS hybrid and comes complete with a retro-inspired design. The vehicle hit the Japanese market last year and is outfitted with a 5.0-liter hybrid V8 pumping out a total of 425 hp and 376 lb-ft of torque. Toyota takes such care building the Century that just 50 units roll out of its production facility each month, despite a hefty starting price the equivalent of $180,000.
There are limited details about Prince Naruhito’s one-off Century drop-top available, including whether or not the vehicle will have a folding roof mechanism or if it will simply be a Century with its roof chopped off.
Crown Prince Naruhito’s last big ceremony came in 1993, when he married Crown Princess Masako. To mark that occasion, a black Rolls-Royce Corniche Convertible was used. It is reported that there was talk about this vehicle being reconditioned for the Crown Prince’s coronation, but it is reported that the car has fallen into disrepair and sourcing spare parts proved too difficult.
Following his coronation, the new emperor will use a normal Toyota Century for his daily transportation needs.