Featured Toyota Chasing Tesla Styling With 2nd Generation 2021 Mirai Fuel Cell Vehicle

Discussion in 'Prius, Hybrid, EV and Alt-Fuel News' started by Danny, Oct 10, 2019.

  1. Danny

    Danny Admin/Founder
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    Toyota is still plugging away at Fuel Cell technology, and is not willing to let a lack of styling get in the way of making it a success. The new Mirai is a beauty, for sure, with lines and features that are very reminiscent of Tesla. Built on the Lexus LS platform, the 2G Mirai will be lower to the ground, wider, and longer.

    Toyota's working hard on the technical capabilities of the vehicle, too, with the 2021 model gaining 30% range over the first generation. Not many other details were released, so enjoy a press release from Toyota and the photos of this beauty. It was extremely hard to photograph at the reveal event, so I'm including both the stock photos from Toyota and a few that I snapped.

    2021_Mirai_001.jpg 2021_Mirai_002.jpg 2021_Mirai_005.jpg 2021_Mirai_003.jpg 2021_Mirai_004.jpg 2021_Mirai_006.jpg 2021_Mirai_007.jpg 2021_Mirai_008.jpg 2021_Mirai_009.jpg 2021_Mirai_10.jpg 2021_Mirai_11.jpg 2021_Mirai_012.jpg



    Toyota Press Release:

    Coupe-Inspired Design Modernizes All-New 2021 Toyota Mirai Sedan
    Design and Technology Flagship Delivers Significant Evolution of Toyota’s Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle Powertrain
    • Elegant New Mirai Concept Based on Premium RWD Platform
    • Upgraded FCEV Powertrain with Enhanced Performance
    • Target of 30-Percent Increase in Driving Range with Increased Hydrogen Capacity
    • Enhanced Safety and Tech Features
    • Companion Model to Toyota’s Upcoming Battery EVs

    PLANO, Texas (October 10, 2019) – Toyota put the auto industry on the road to electrification in 1997 with the first Prius hybrid. Then, in 2015, it debuted the Mirai, the first production hydrogen fuel-cell electric vehicle (FCEV) offered for sale to retail customers in North America (Mirai means “future” in Japanese). Now, Toyota has revealed the second-generation Mirai, rebooted as a premium sedan with cutting-edge design, technology and driving performance.

    The Mirai is based on Toyota’s premium rear-wheel drive platform and debuts a dramatic yet refined coupe-inspired design with improved passenger room and comfort. The second-gen Mirai will go on sale in late 2020 and will deliver a significant evolution of Toyota’s hydrogen FCEV powertrain technology and offer a critical look into the future of Toyota’s lineup.

    The dramatic change in design also signals a new driving experience from Mirai. A targeted 30- percent increase in range is achieved by an improvement in fuel cell system performance and increased hydrogen storage capacity. Additionally, the new Mirai will offer a more powerful, engaging and even quieter driving experience than its pioneering forerunner.

    “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,” said Yoshikazu Tanaka, Chief Engineer of the Mirai. “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.’”

    At its core, the Mirai is an electric vehicle, but it never needs to be plugged in to recharge. An FCEV generates its own electricity onboard from hydrogen & oxygen, with water as the only tailpipe emission. A fill-up takes just about five minutes at an SAE-conforming hydrogen fueling station in California or Hawaii (with stations also planned for the Northeast and other areas).

    Toyota is working to develop a line of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and includes FCEVs in its electrification roadmap. Toyota projects that fuel cell electric technology will one day be as common as the company’s hybrid electric technology.

    Electrifying Style

    The second-generation Mirai is built on a rear-wheel drive platform, a major departure from the original front-wheel drive version in terms of design. The new platform allows for a highly rigid body that is lower, longer, and wider, with its bolder stance accentuated by available 20-inch alloy wheels. The design is more aerodynamic, yet also emotionally evocative without being aggressive; zero-emissions doesn’t have to mean dull.

    The new Mirai’s clean, modern profile was inspired by coupes, yet the new design is also more approachable than before. By taking advantage of the new platform, there’s more interior space which allows for five passenger seating for more family flexibility.

    Accentuating the new Mirai’s smoother, more sculptural form is a brand-new blue color never before featured on a Toyota which achieves its brightness and deepness through a multiple-layer painting process.

    The new Mirai’s interior matches the refined tone of the exterior, its clean and modern layout infused with a hint of futurism without appearing off-putting. Drivers of current conventional luxury models will feel immediately familiar behind the wheel of the new Mirai. To that end, Toyota made the cabin even quieter, enhancing the luxurious ambience.

    The simple, flowing lines of the dash neatly integrate a higher level of user tech in the new Mirai, including a standard 8-inch digital combination meter and available digital rearview mirror that displays images from a rear camera. The standard Toyota Premium Multimedia system, which uses a 12.3-inch high-resolution TFT touchscreen, includes navigation and a 14-speaker JBL sound system.

    Toyota’s Fuel Cell Future

    Toyota remains committed to hydrogen fuel cell technology as a powertrain with tremendous potential. It’s a scalable technology, which means it can be made small enough to power a phone or large enough to power a building, or anything in between. For example, Toyota installed fuel cell powertrains into a test fleet of Kenworth class-8 semi-trucks that can pull a maximum 80,000- lb. load. These powerful, zero-emission big rigs are currently used for moving freight in and around the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, California.

    More FCEVs are planned to enter the market over the next few years, as the cost, size and weight of fuel cell systems continue to decrease and the fueling infrastructure grows. Among the advantages of FCEV technology is a quick refueling time (about the same as conventional gasoline-fueled vehicles).

    What’s an FCEV?

    Even motorists familiar with EVs may still be unacquainted with FCEVs. The easiest way to understand an FCEV is that it is a “plug-less” electric vehicle. There’s no need to charge the battery, which can take several hours in an EV, even with fast charging. Instead, the FCEV driver simply fills the tank in about five minutes, not much longer than millions do every day with conventional vehicles.

    With an FCEV, however, the fuel is compressed hydrogen rather than gasoline. A fuel cell system combines the stored hydrogen with oxygen from the air, and the result is (1) electric current, (2) heat, and (3) water.

    Fuel cell technology predates the automobile by more than half a century. In 1839, a Welsh physicist combined hydrogen and oxygen in the presence of an electrolyte and produced an electric current. By the 1960s, the technology was being used in America’s Gemini and Apollo spacecraft, where it provided crews with both electricity and water from stored hydrogen and oxygen. It is used widely in a variety of industries and applications around the world. Hydrogen can be produced locally and sustainably.

    Fuel cells had been studied for the automotive sector, but the technology only recently became practical and cost-effective. Toyota began its fuel cell development around the same time as the original Prius 20+ years ago, and the Mirai shares some of the technology & components from the company’s hybrid program. Toyota developed the solid-polymer electrolyte fuel cells used in the first- and second-generation Mirai models, and, to help foster FCEV proliferation, the company has released its patents, royalty-free.

    The fuel cell is composed of an anode, a cathode, and an electrolyte membrane. Hydrogen is passed through the anode, and oxygen through the cathode. The hydrogen molecules are split into electrons and protons. As protons pass through the electrolyte membrane, electrons travel along a circuit, generating an electric current and heat. At the cathode, the protons, electrons, and oxygen combine to produce water molecules. There are no other byproducts, just pure water.

    Vehicle name Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Wheelbase (in.) Driving system Passengers (people) Range MIRAI Concept 195.8 74.2 57.8 114.9 Rear Wheel Drive 5 A target of a 30% increase from the current generation
     

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  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    nice! maybe they'll drop the maw and call it a gen 5 prius :cool:
     
  3. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    The adoption, adaptation, and promotion of the Fuel Cell technology is far more important than the styling ques of the vehicle.
    But yeah.....it's purty....in a I've kinda seen a lot of vehicles that look that way, sort of way.
     
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  4. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    That hood is long. Are they stuffing the entire fuel cell system under it?
     
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  5. fotomoto

    fotomoto Senior Member

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    To me, looks are more reminiscent of a 2013 Ford Fusion with a longer hood.

    p9kfLn.jpg 175450_2021_Mirai_004.jpg
     
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  6. austingreen

    austingreen Senior Member

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    It looks a lot better, the current design is fugly. I don't think better looks can help it much though. Too many problems with hydrogen fueling costs and logistics in North America and Europe. I don't think looks hurt it in Japan (US has been main market) and that may be the market that buys it.

    That styling though might look great on the next generation prime ;-) or dedicated phev.
     
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  7. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    i always thought toyota targeted prius design at japan. you mean they don't like ugly either?
     
  8. El Dobro

    El Dobro A Member

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    It could fart rainbows and butterflies, but I still wouldn't be interested unless I could fuel up at home.
     
  9. alanclarkeau

    alanclarkeau Senior Member

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    I doubt it if it's based on a LEXUS LS - which is a massive car:
    upload_2019-10-11_14-18-24.png
     
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  10. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    Looks like it could be the basis for an LS FCEV
     
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  11. alanclarkeau

    alanclarkeau Senior Member

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    Yes, just reading a local report, I was thinking the same. Not sure about over there, but LS here is over $200k - so what it'll be with a Hindenburg add-on.
     
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  12. austingreen

    austingreen Senior Member

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    This likely is based on the lexus IS, not LS. They need to drop costs not raise them. The IS is rwd based on the camry platform. Of course you x the engine, transmission gas tank and add hydrogen tanks, fuel cell, motor, battery but probably keep the suspension and interior. Maybe they can get their costs down to $50K/car.
     
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  13. alanclarkeau

    alanclarkeau Senior Member

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    OK maybe - he did say LS above. But the IS is the same platform as the old CROWN Platform. I'd be surprised if they still used it. It would be more likely to use the new CROWN Platform - TNGA GA-N.

    I'd be surprised if they got it down to $50 per car - with all the extra stuff. Here a LEXUS IS is between $65k and $90k - though some of that is for the LEXUS name.
     
  14. austingreen

    austingreen Senior Member

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    Its probably just a currency conversion thing. $50K USD is about $75K Australian dollars. Current price in the US before toyota cash and government subsidies is $59K or about $90K AUD. For comparison a lexus ES hybrid starts at $45K USD and that is probably the price they are shooting for on fuel cells, but they aren't going to get there right away. I used the fwd version because they don't sell an IS hybrid here.
     
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  15. GasperG

    GasperG Senior Member

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    The hood is TOO long.
     
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  16. hill

    hill High Fiber Member

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    well - maybe they need the extra room for more batteries. Remember, the batteries are getting cheaper & cheaper, so the less platinum stack they have, the less it has to continually recharge a small battery. Maybe on rev 3 they can just drop the Platinum stack all together

    .
     
  17. Dimitrij

    Dimitrij Active Member

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    This doesn't look like a Tesla to me. If anything, it reminds me the new Accord + one heck of a nose:
    https://cars.usnews.com/cars-trucks/honda/accord/2019/photos-exterior/side-view

    Teslas have a kind of a "timeless" quality to their design, with emphasis on style not fashion, which is why IMO they stand out without looking weird. I would think a TM3 wouldn't have offended anyone's sensibilities anytime, starting from the mid-eighties.
     
    #17 Dimitrij, Oct 11, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2019
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  18. hill

    hill High Fiber Member

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    but . . . maybe they are going for the timeless Bugatti look

    image-4739.jpg
    .
     
  19. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    There's enough space under the hood for a SkyActiv.

    The press release above has the dimensions at the very end. It is almost as wide as an LS; the wheelbase and length are in between the IS and LS. LS stretched for the hood is my guess.

    Just needs a different emblem and uglier grill.

    My guess is that they moved much of the drive train and fuel system to the engine bay from the rest of the car.

    Current FWD Mirai.
    [​IMG]

    With RWD the motor can sit under the trunk, leaving lots of space under that hood for everything else. The public might find hydrogen tanks in the front off putting, so a front trunk to make up for lost trunk space to them in the rear could be done.

    Mazdas have long hoods because of the exhaust manifold for the SkyActiv engine. That was my first impression of this Mirai.

    The interior is the most likely part to offend with the Model 3, and I like that is more about controls than style.

    I'm more interested in this Mirai, and I should thank Toyota for coming across it looking for the above image.
    Mirai - GKIDS Films
     
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  20. Lee Jay

    Lee Jay Senior Member

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    The thing should STILL be a PHEV, not a pure FC vehicle. Pure FC vehicles make just as little sense as pure gasoline vehicles and pure battery vehicles.

    Cars are inherently hybrids - one source for high-power low-energy, one source for high-energy, low-power. FCs are high-energy, low-power devices. Combine them with a high-power, low-energy device, also known as a battery. This also greatly reduces the need for fueling infrastructure and greatly increases the overall lifetime energy efficiency.
     
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