Auto Shows, electric cars, Motoring News, new models, toyota

More range, more styling: Toyota punts new Mirai at Tokyo

  • Early glimpse at 2019 Tokyo Motor Show
  • Driving range extended by up to 30%
  • Latest fuel-cell electric vehicle technology
2020 TOYOTA MIRAI: Image: Toyota Japan

TOKYO, Japan – Toyota says it will take advanced zero-emission fuel-cell electric vehicle technology to a new level when it previews the second-generation Mirai at the 2019 Tokyo auto show.

The concept car will provide an early glimpse of the advances Toyota has made since the announcement of the first model in terms of technical excellence, dynamic performance and desirable design.

The car – it’s name means ‘Future’ in Japanese –  is scheduled for launch in 2020 starting with Japan, North America and Europe in areas supported by a fuel-cell re-fuelling infrastructure – the new Mirai will be much more than an eco-car.

BETTER DRIVING RANGE

”It has been designed,” Toyota says, ”to demonstrate how Toyota’s FCEV technology can help create a vehicle that is not only rewarding to drive but also beautiful. Efficiency is still a critical area and Toyota is targeting a 30% increase in the Mirai’s driving range through improvements to the fuel-cell system and larger hydrogen tanks.”

2020 TOYOTA MIRAI: Image: Toyota Japan

The new Mirai’s (see previous model here) immediate impact, Toyota says, ”is its exterior design with low lines, elegant proportions, sleek, taut bodywork and 20” wheel rims that together generate a powerful and distinctive look”.

The preview car will be presented in a unique blue paint finish that, its maker says, ”uses multiple layers to achieve an exceptional brightness and depth of colour”.

WATCH THE video of the Toyota Mirai

Key cabin elements include a central 31cm display and an instrument panel that wraps around the driver(see image above). ”The platform and intelligent packaging,” Toyota says, ”allow five seats instead of the current Mirai’s four.”

READ MORE Toyota features on Carman’s Corner

The new Mirai uses Toyota’s latest rear-wheel drive modular platform engineered to accommodate various power trains – among them a hydrogen fuel-cell – from the outset. ”It gives,” its maker says ”the new Mirai an even higher degree of body rigidity, which contributes to agility, response, and a lower centre of gravity.”

2020 TOYOTA MIRAI: Image: Toyota Japan

As well as extending the potential driving range, improvements in the performance of the fuel-cell system give the new Mirai linear smooth responses when pulling away and an elegant driving feel, with unity between the driver’s throttle inputs and the car’s acceleration.

Handling is said to be light and easy on winding roads and highway driving produces an exceptional sense of power at all speeds.

WHAT THE CHIEF SAYS…

Mirai chief engineer Yoshikazu Tanaka said: “We’ve pursued the goal of making a car that customers will feel they 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.

“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 to develop that feeling and we hope the new Mirai we will be a leader in the realisation of a hydrogen energy society.”

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