Toyota: first images of next-gen Mirai fuel cell car
Toyota will present the Mirai Concept, a preview of the second model generation of the fuel cell sedan at the Toyko Motor Show. Pre-release photos of the new edition, planned for 2020 show a more agreeable design as well as some technical changes.
Toyota presented the first Mirai generation in 2014. The saloon was not only distinguished by its fuel cell drive but also by its eye-catching design. With its 114 kW drive, the current model has a standard range of over 500 kilometres.
Toyota is still hesitant to release technical data for the second generation; after all, the concept car is primarily supposed to showcase a new design. Nevertheless, there will be some changes to the technology. For example, the second Mirai moves from an independent platform onto the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA), designed from the outset to host several drive forms. The new model will also have a rear-wheel-drive instead of a front-wheel drive. According to Toyota, the TNGA base should strengthen the body framework and lower the centre of gravity, which in conjunction with the rear-wheel-drive results in agile and direct handling.
Since the hydrogen tanks in the new model are to be larger and the fuel cell drive has been optimised, Toyota says it is aiming for up to 30 per cent more range – probably over 650 kilometres. However, Toyota has not yet revealed the performance data of the fuel cell stack, the electric motor or the battery.
“We have worked to make a car that customers will want to drive all the time, a car that has an emotional and attractive design and the kind of dynamic and responsive performance that can bring a smile to the driver’s face,” said Yoshikazu Tanaka, Chief Engineer of the Mirai. “I want customers to say ‘I chose the Mirai because I simply wanted this car, and it just happens to be an FCEV,” he added.
With a length of 4.975 metres, a width of 1.885 metres and a height of 1.47 metres, the Mirai Concept, which looks like it is close to series production, is longer, broader and flatter. There should also be more space inside: Thanks to the switch to the TNGA platform, five instead of four seats will be available in future. According to Toyota, the rest of the interior has also been upgraded and the warm, comfortable ambience will “arouse even more desire for long journeys and journeys”. One of the predecessor’s disadvantages was the relatively small boot for an almost five-meter-long sedan due to the hydrogen tanks. Toyota has made no mention of this in its press release, nor has it published any pictures of the Mirai Concept’s boot.
The new edition of the Mirai should hit the market in Japan, North America and Europe by 2020.
The Mirai Concept will not be the only electric innovation at the Toyota booth in Tokyo. The Japanese company will also be showing another concept car, the LQ. The LQ is the next generation of the Concept-i Toyota presented for the first time at CES 2017. Toyota’s luxury brand subsidiary Lexus will also be introducting a new BEV concept at the Tokyo Motor Show.
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Additional reporting by Sebastian Schaal.