Toyota has shown the first images of the next edition of its Mirai hydrogen fuel-cell car. Or at least, the concept version of what will become the 2021 Mirai.
Obvious from a first look at the new prototype version is Toyota’s awareness that the current Mirai, while it operates on a revolutionary new powertrain, has a relatively nondescript outer shell that looks more present-generation Prius than futuristic fuel-cell car. Time to jazz it up, the company seems to have concluded.
The next Mirai will thus be based on a rear-wheel-drive platform and feature a radically different coupe-style design that, Toyota promises, will nonetheless deliver improved space and comfort for occupants. It will be powered by an updated version of Toyota’s FCEV hydrogen-based powertrain. Toyota also aims to increase the car’s range on a full tank of hydrogen by 30%.
The new look of the next Mirai will be accompanied by a “more powerful, engaging and even quieter driving experience,” according to its creator.
“We have pursued making a car that customers feel like driving all the time, a car that has emotional and attractive design appeal, as well as dynamic and responsive driving performance that can bring a smile to the faces of drivers. I want customers to say, ‘I chose the Mirai not because it’s an FCEV, but because I really wanted this car, and it just happened to be an FCEV.’”
- Yoshikazu Tanaka, Chief Engineer for Toyota Mirai
The FCEV system actually makes of the Mirai an electric-powered vehicle, but one that never need to be plugged in, to the delight of those who suffer from range anxiety with a regular plug-in EV. The electric motor gets its power from a system using hydrogen and oxygen, and the only emission produced by the powertrain is water.
At present, there are re-fueling stations in operation in Quebec City and in Vancouver, and in factr Quebec and B.C. are the only two provinces where the current Mirai is available, and even then only for commercial fleets.