Skip advert
Advertisement

Next generation Toyota Mirai revealed as hydrogen flagship

While the EV revolution continues, so too does Toyota’s hydrogen fuel-cell development

Toyota has revealed a near-production concept version of its second-generation Mirai, the marque’s hydrogen fuel-cell saloon. While battery electric vehicles are quickly gaining momentum as the environmentally friendly option for private car buyers, hydrogen fuel-cell technology has been in constant development alongside it, with manufacturers such as Toyota, Honda and Hyundai all now having production fuel-cell models on the road. 

Advertisement - Article continues below

Tellingly, the new Mirai is built on Toyota’s modular TNGA platform, one shared with everything from the Prius to the Camry, helpfully reducing per-unit production costs of a model that has always been a loss-leader due to its expensive hydrogen fuel-cell powertrain.

Unlike a traditional internal-combustion powertrain, the hydrogen fuel-cell works by generating electricity by a chemical reaction with no associated emissions aside from water vapour. This electricity then powers an electric motor, which in the Mirai’s case sits on the rear axle, providing drive.

Toyota claims to have made great strides with how the Mirai drives, with an increase in range and performance, and improved drivability. Toyota had a target of increasing range by 30 per cent, which it says has been achieved by both improved system efficiency and increased hydrogen storage capacity. 

The inherent advantage of a hydrogen fuel-cell powertrain is its non-reliance on the grid, which so often is the defining aspect of the argument about how clean battery electric vehicles actually are from a well-to-wheel perspective.  

Skip advert
Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

The previous Mirai’s Prius-like body has been replaced with a somewhat more traditional, but also more elegant saloon shape. It’s more understated look is not so much a change in aesthetic for the Mirai, but rather one in philosophy, as Toyota intends for the Mirai to be less of a statement car and instead an established part of its progression into alternative powertrains across the range. 

The new, display-heavy interior is suitably plush considering its status within the Toyota range, but retains a very pleasing aesthetic that is distinctively Japanese. The new 12.3-inch touchscreen sits high on the flowing, minimalist dashboard, with a smaller Lexus-style cowled driver display behind the steering wheel, while copper-coloured accents frame and highlight the dash, doors and seats.

Fuel-cell technology may be in its infancy compared to battery technology, but many experts believe that hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles, rather than replacing BEVs, will coexist alongside them as part of a wider answer to the issues facing internal combustion engines. Our conundrum is where there is at least a link – albeit a tenuous one – between electric vehicles and driving thrills, hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles have still yet to form one. The new Toyota Mirai doesn’t look to change that.

Skip advert
Advertisement

Recommended

Audi RS4 (B7, 2006 - 2008): a V8 supersaloon benchmark
Audi RS4 B7
Reviews

Audi RS4 (B7, 2006 - 2008): a V8 supersaloon benchmark

Still the iteration by which all others are measured, Audi's second RS4 surprised us all with its exceptional engine and handling when it was launched…
16 Apr 2024
BMW M5 (F90) Fast Fleet test – 9 months with the 592bhp four-door
evo Fast Fleet BMW M5 F90
Long term tests

BMW M5 (F90) Fast Fleet test – 9 months with the 592bhp four-door

It may have been faster, more powerful and more complex that any M5 before, but the 592bhp F90 also managed to channel the spirit of some of its more …
12 Apr 2024
BMW M3 CS v Alfa Romeo Giulia GTA v Jaguar XE Project 8 – supersaloon specials go head-to-head
BMW M3 CS v Alfa Romeo Giulia GTA v Jaguar XE Project 8
Group tests

BMW M3 CS v Alfa Romeo Giulia GTA v Jaguar XE Project 8 – supersaloon specials go head-to-head

BMW’s M3 CS is so dazzlingly good that a regular head-to-head seemed inadequate. Instead we pit it against two icons, Alfa Romeo’s sublime Giulia GTA …
7 Apr 2024
Toyota GT86 v GR86: how Toyota perfected the affordable sports car
Toyota GT86 v GR86 – front
Group tests

Toyota GT86 v GR86: how Toyota perfected the affordable sports car

The GT86 bucked all the usual sports car trends in 2012, then the GR86 honed that recipe to perfection
3 Apr 2024
Skip advert
Advertisement

Most Popular

Italy bans Alfa Romeo Milano name, so now it’s Alfa Romeo Junior
Alfa Romeo Junior/Milano
News

Italy bans Alfa Romeo Milano name, so now it’s Alfa Romeo Junior

Just a few days after the Milano's reveal, Alfa Romeo has been forced to change the car’s name entirely
15 Apr 2024
Aston Martin DB12 Volante 2024 review – Britain’s Ferrari beater?
Aston Martin DB12 Volante
Reviews

Aston Martin DB12 Volante 2024 review – Britain’s Ferrari beater?

First drive of the new V8-engined DB12 Volante, the latest model in Lawrence Stroll’s armoury to turn the company around
15 Apr 2024
BMW i4 eDrive35 review: does less equal more?
BMW i4 eDrive35 – front
Reviews

BMW i4 eDrive35 review: does less equal more?

BMW’s cheapest i4 gets a smaller battery, less power and a £50,755 price tag – is it a worthy alternative to a Polestar 2?
12 Apr 2024