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Tokyo show: Toyota teases all-new Mirai

Mirai Concept previews Toyota’s second-generation hydrogen fuel-cell sedan

11 Oct 2019

TOYOTA has previewed its second-generation Mirai hydrogen fuel-cell (FCEV) sedan with a pre-production concept giving an idea of what the new-generation version will look like.

 

Set for a public debut at the Tokyo motor show ahead of the production version’s launch in Japan, North America and Europe in 2020, the Mirai Concept shows a vastly different design direction while promising improved powertrain performance and greater specification.

 

Toyota has replaced the brash, angular design of the current Mirai with a smoother, more streamlined look including long, slim LED headlights, a large, one-piece grille and a stretched bonnet.

 

Multi-spoke, 20-inch wheels given the Mirai concept a powerful feel, while the heavily lined creases over the current version’s rear wheelarches have been smoothed out, giving it a more seamless look from front to back.

 

The LED tail-light design has also been simplified, while the concept’s multi-layered, specially developed blue paint job helps the Mirai stand out.

 

Inside, extra technology has been added to the Mirai’s cabin including a large 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment display, as well as an instrument cluster that is angled to wrap around the driver.

 

The rear seats are now able to accommodate three passengers across, as opposed to the two-seat rear capacity in the previous generation.

 

Toyota has built the new Mirai on its latest rear-wheel-drive modular platform engineered to accommodate different powertrains including FCEVs, with the new architecture providing greater body rigidity and a lower centre of gravity, making for better handling and agility.

 

The Japanese car-maker has promised improvements to the Mirai’s FCEV powertrain, saying it is targeting a 30 per cent increase to driving range through improvements to the fuel-cell system and larger on-board hydrogen tanks.

 

It is also aiming to improve system performance, with the aim of providing smooth, linear acceleration when pulling away and an elegant driving feel that delivers a sense of unity between the throttle inputs and vehicle acceleration.

 

For reference, the current Mirai features a driving range of around 500km – meaning a 30 per cent increase would put it at 650km – while outputs from the FCEV powertrain are 114kW/335Nm.

 

Launched in 2014, around 10,000 units of the current Mirai have been sold globally, while in Australia a small fleet of Mirais are being tested in conjunction with local councils ad other organisations to provide research into the efficiency, usage and benefits of hydrogen technology.

 

While giving no timeline for the release of an FCEV into its local range, Toyota Australia said it will continue to work with governments, industry and stakeholders to help fast-track the development of hydrogen refuelling infrastructure, which will then open the gates for mass-market FCEV adoption.


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