2021 Toyota Mirai FCV caught testing in Los Angeles [Update]

Update – As per an article on Japanese auto magazine BestCarWeb, Toyota will premiere the second generation Mirai in October or November this year. The official launch is expected in early-2021.

Toyota will put the Mirai on the market with almost the same 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. The price of the vehicle will be more than 8 million yen (Rs 55.57 lakh), 600,000 yen higher than the first-gen model due to the cost increase from the platform change and new safety equipment, adds BestCarWeb.jp, though subsidies would make the car more affordable in Japan.

The report says Toyota took an exceedingly long amount of time to clear the orders placed for the first-gen Mirai, three 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.

June 11, 2020 –

MotorTrend’s features editor Scott Evans has 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.

Toyota Motor previewed the stunning Lexus logo-worthy second gen FCEV with improvements across the board at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show as a final-stage development model. The second-generation Toyota Mirai is based on a rear-wheel-drive platform and as per the update issued in mid-January, it will go on sale in late-2020 in North America, Japan and Europe. Whether the COVID-19 has affected launch plans, Toyota has not revealed. The company had planned to increase fuel cell vehicle production to 30,000 units a year globally in 2020 (it was at 3,000 units in 2018).

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 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 a 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 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.

Toyota Mirai in its new form has more interior space and can seat five passengers in comfort. Accentuated with 20-inch wheels, the new 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 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 rearview 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%. This could mean that 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.”

The dimensions of the production model is expected to be very close to that of the preview vehicle.

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

Hydrogen-powered vehicles in India from Toyota and 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 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. Rival Hyundai, which showcased the Nexo at the Auto Expo, has also 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 car would be placing the proverbial cart before the horse.

Video Courtesy: ToyotaUSA Youtube channel

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