The new 2016 Toyota Mirai has been presented a month ago for Asian market. As far as hybrid electric cars go, Toyota has been on top since the early 2000 with the Prius but after that car they didn’t really made any real progress in that field. However, there is now a new form of propulsion which is starting to get more and more manufacturers involved and that is the hydrogen fuel cell cars.
Toyota started developing their first cars which used hydrogen as a fuel in 1992 so the technology isn’t all that new. However, even though the program is quite old they never really had a car to sell until now. The 2016 Toyota Mirai is their first fuel cell car which is going to be released on the market at the end of 2015.
The chassis is similar to that of the Prius but instead of using a petrol powered engine there is now a single electric motor. Under the body there is also a fuel cell which can be recharged with hydrogen in just around 5 minutes, meaning that the long journeys shouldn’t be a problem for it. The price for it has been announced to be just shy of 60.000 dollars making it not only more expensive than the Prius but almost more expensive than any other hybrid electric out there. Let’s not forget though that this is a model for early adopters, so it won’t be as wide-spread as the Prius.
Availability should be scarce at first, with the first cars being only available in California, either for sell or lease. This will include an 8 year warranty plan with up to 100.000 miles of coverage, so the early adopters won’t have any real issues with it.
The Engine options
Under the hood, instead of the usual petrol engine we now have a single 152 horsepower and 247 lb-ft of torque electric motor. The power delivery is instant thanks to a single speed gearbox and the acceleration should be quite impressive for such a car. We expect it to go from 0 to 60 MPH in less than 8 seconds and have a limited to speed of around 100 MPH. There is also a 1.6 kWh nickel-medal hydride battery which is going to store the energy from the regenerative braking system. This might be changed at a latter date to a lithium-ion unit.
As far as its fuel consumption goes, the 2016 Toyota Mirai is going to travel up to 300 miles with a single charge which is pretty much as good as it gets with these electric cars. Considering it will run on hydrogen, expect it to have no gas emission whatsoever. In fact, the Mirai will make around 100cc of water for each mile traveled which is quite impressive.
2016 Toyota Mirai Design
On the interior, it will have all the commodities of a family car and a few extras. The dashboard features not one but two touch screens. The one from the top is the satellite navigation unit which is also an infotainment center while the one from the bottom will act as the control for the dual zone automatic climate control unit. There are no physical buttons on the dashboard but rather capacitive ones. This is to be expected from it but physical buttons might have been more adequate.
The outside of the 2016 Toyota Mirai on the other hand is a lot more impressive than its interior. Even though it looks a bit like a Civic from the side, both the front and rear ends are mighty impressive. The front fascia is identical to the FCV concept shown back in 2013 while the rear of the car takes inspiration from the LFA, with the triangular LED tail lights and the hidden exhaust pipe. The front features two massive air intakes which are there primarily for the looks of the car. All the models are going to get a panoramic roof as standard which is impressive but to be expected at this price point.