2021 Toyota Mirai FCV debuts in December; will India embrace it?

The 2021 Toyota Mirai hydrogen fuel cell electric car will debut in December this year, Toyota has confirmed on its Japanese website. The debut will mark the launch of the second generation of the world’s first mass-produced FCEV in the brand’s home market.

Toyota Mirai specs

TMC will put the Toyota Mirai on the market with the identical features and looks as the prototype exhibited at the 46th Tokyo Motor Show held in the fall of 2019. It shares the platform with the Toyota Crown and by switching from the conventional FF to the FR layout and making the weight balance between the front and the rear 50-50, high-speed stability (and handling) of the car is said to be greatly improved.

2020 Toyota Mirai
The next-gen Toyota Mirai has a more conventional design and will cost close to the Lexus ES luxury sedan.

The report said that Toyota took an exceedingly long amount of time to clear the orders placed for the first-gen Mirai, the years in some cases, due to the complexities involved in manufacturing the fuel cell stack, but the supply system has been “drastically improved” for the incoming model.

Earlier this year, MotorTrend’s features editor Scott Evans had captured the upcoming Toyota Mirai on test in downtown Los Angeles. The camouflaged prototype is of the second generation Toyota fuel cell vehicle and the publication is highly confident that this is the production-ready product which stays very close to the preview model showcased last year.

While the first generation Mirai, launched in 2015, was based on a front-wheel-drive chassis (about 10,000 units were sold globally), the new Mirai is rear-wheel drive car with a dynamic coupe-inspired design and gets better cabin space and comfort. Toyota says the switch to the RWD platform gives it a higher degree of body rigidity leading to greater agility and responsiveness, and secondly a lower centre of gravity which makes the handling nimble and rewarding.

The hydrogen-powered car gets a highly desirable design without being aggressive, sporting a body that is lower, longer and wider.

2020 Toyota Mirai rear top
The new Toyota Mirai has three tanks – one long, two short – which together increase the fuel capacity by around 1 kg of Hydrogen compared to the current model. The range of the Mirai has gone up by about 30% putting it at 650 km per fill-up.

The Toyota Mirai in its new form has more interior space and can seat five passengers in comfort. The 2021 Toyota Mirai gets a brand-new blue colour that has never been featured on a Toyota before.

We have pursued the goal of making a car that customers will feel they want to drive at all times, 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 because it’s an FCEV, but because I love how it looks and performs; it just happens to be an FCEV.’

Yoshikazu Tanaka, new Toyota Mirai’s Chief Engineer.
2020 Toyota Mirai dashboard
The flowing dash integrates an 8-inch digital combination meter and a 12.3-inch TFT touchscreen in the centre console that features Toyota Premium Multimedia system with navigation and a 14-speaker JBL sound system. The rear view mirror is a digital unit.

Though no details of power and range of the second-generation Mirai have been revealed, Toyota has said that driving range has been extended by about 30% – the 2021 model could return a range of close to 650 km through its three hydrogen tanks. The new fuel cell system, Toyota claims, endows the Mirai a “linear, smooth response when pulling away and an elegant driving feel.”

2021 Toyota Mirai (preview) dimensionValue
Overall length4,975 mm
Overall width1,885 mm
Overall height1,470 mm
Wheelbase2,920 mm
DrivetrainRear-wheel drive
Passenger capacity5
Driving rangeAbout 30% greater than current model
Dimensions of the production model is expected to be very close to that of the preview vehicle.

Toyota Mirai features & price

In Germany, one of the early markets which has confirmed sales of the car, Toyota will launch the 2021 Mirai in base, Executive and Advanced equipment lines, at EUR 63,900 (INR 55.48 lakh), EUR 66,900 (INR 58.08 lakh) and EUR 73,900 (INR 64.16 lakh) respectively. The next-gen model is more affordable than the outgoing Mirai which costs EUR 76,618.49 (INR 66.52 lakh) onwards in the country.

The base trim will feature 19-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system, heated and electrically adjustable front seats and 14-speaker JBL sound system.

The Executive trim will include adaptive bi-LED headlights, multi-LED turn indicators (front), polished silver 19-inch alloy wheels, privacy glass rear windows, 360-degree camera system, heated and electrically adjustable steering, 8-colour ambient lighting and wireless smartphone charger. It will pack active safety technologies like Rear Cross Traffic Auto Brake (RCTAB), Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) and Intelligent Clearance Sonar (ICS) as well.

The Advanced trim will flaunt black 20-inch wheels instead of 19-inch silver alloy wheels. It will have panoramic sunroof, head-up display, digital IRVM, 3-zone auto AC, rear-seat heating, front and rear seat ventilation and a memory function for the driver’s seat and the steering.

Toyota Mirai production

From the second generation, Toyota has decided to increase the production capacity of the Mirai to 30,000 units a year. The company will start the production of the 2021 Mirai in Japan in November and should continue building the flagship eco-friendly car at the Motomachi Plant in its homeland.

Hydrogen-powered vehicles in India from Toyota & Hyundai

The Toyota Mirai is a fuel-cell electric vehicle (FCEV) which doesn’t need to be plugged in to charge the battery. Customers have to fill the tank with hydrogen at a filling station and a fuel cell system combines the stored hydrogen with oxygen from the air that results in electric current, heat and water.

Toyota has remained committed to hydrogen fuel cell technology and one example of the first-generation Mirai model has been brought to India for studies and demonstrations where the government is pushing auto manufacturers to switch to alternative fuels.

Union ministers Mr Nitin Gadkari and Mr Dharmendra Pradhan were full of praise for this technology after a short test drive this year. The minister felt that hydrogen is an innovative solution for sustainable and green transportation fuel. ISRO, CSIR labs, IOCL and Tata Motors have already been working on Fuel Cells for years.

Rival Hyundai, which showcased the Nexo at the Auto Expo, has said that it would study the feasibility of introducing the hydrogen-powered SUV in the Indian market, but without a skeletal fuel station network, launching this type of vehicle would be placing the proverbial cart before the horse.

Video Courtesy: ToyotaUSA Youtube channel