Toyota has announced specific launch dates for the second generation of its hydrogen fuel cell model. Production of the updated Toyota Mirai series will begin in Japan this fall.
The Japanese company has sold more than 10,000 units of the first generation Mirai. The 2nd generation hydrogen car introduced last fall will first enter the local market and then appear in North America and Europe. According to the manufacturer, the new product is distinguished by notable progress in technology, driving performance and design.
Toyota has not yet disclosed the detailed technical data of the new hydrogen car, but it is known that it will be built on the original platform (TNGA), which already implies a number of changes. The new model will have rear-wheel drive instead of front-wheel drive. With a length of 4.975 meters, a width of 1.885 meters and a height of 1.47 meters, the new product will be larger than its predecessor. Toyota promises 20-inch wheels, five seats in the cabin, as well as a 12.3-inch display in the centre of the dashboard.
The company also speaks of a more efficient engine. Thanks to an optimized fuel cell system and larger hydrogen tanks, the range of the new Toyota Mirai is increased by 30%. The current figure is 500 km, which means the next generation will receive 650 km of range.
Toyota is also launching a new mobile service in Europe called Kinto. One of the first offers in some European markets will be the Kinto Share car-sharing service with hybrid cars. Toyota's existing Yuko short-term car rental service is already operating in several European cities, including Dublin, Venice, Copenhagen and Madrid, and will be renamed Kinto.
Toyota Mirai second generation will be equipped with proprietary Toyota Fuel Cell technology, which, according to the manufacturer, combines the advantages of fuel cells and hybrid technologies. The power of such a unit, consisting of 370 cells, is 114 kilowatts. If necessary, power from the fuel cell can be directed directly to the electric motor or to the onboard nickel-metal hydride battery. The same technology is used in the Prius hybrid cars. The electric motor on the rear axle is capable of developing a power of 113 kW and 335 Nm of torque.
Yoshikazu Tanaka, the new Mirai’s Chief Engineer, said:
“We have pursued the goal of making a car that customers will feel they want to drive all 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.
“I want customers to say ‘I chose the Mirai not just because it’s an FCEV, but because I simply wanted this car; it just happens to be an FCEV.’ We will continue our development work focusing on that feeling, and we hope that with the new Mirai we will be a leader in helping realise a hydrogen energy society.”
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