Toyota’s second generation Mirai hydrogen-electric sedan has made its official debut. It will hit the UK market in March next year, where it will act as an alternative to conventional electric sedans such as the Tesla Model S and the upcoming BMW i4.
The Mk2 Mirai, which we’ve already tested in prototype form, has moved to Toyota’s GA-L rear-wheel drive platform, which it shares with the Japan-only Toyota Crown executive sedan. This means that its dimensions have increased compared to its predecessor – its length has been increased by 85 mm to 4,975 mm, while its wheelbase has grown by 140 mm to 2,920 mm.
The extra space the new pad provides has allowed Toyota to place an additional hydrogen storage tank under the floor of the Mirai, increasing the sedan’s fuel capacity and range by 30 percent. Now the three tanks of the car can hold 5.6 kg of hydrogen – which offers a maximum range of around 400 miles.
The engineers’ sophisticated approach to weight reduction also contributes to this improved range. The fuel cell stack, for example, is smaller but more energy-dense than that of the old model – and almost 35 percent lighter than before. The fuel cell’s exhaust system is also made of a light resin, as it only has to transport water and not the high-temperature gases of an internal combustion engine.
Toyota also relocated the car’s hydrogen fuel cell from under the passenger compartment to under the hood, which the company claims has created more interior space and improved the Mirai’s weight distribution. Now the car has a claimed 50:50 balance between the front and rear axles, as well as a lower center of gravity.
The new underpinning also means a revised chassis configuration. Instead of the MacPherson front and rear twist beam setups from the old model, the latest version gets a multi-link arrangement with thicker anti-roll bars, new ball joints, and stiffer dampers.
The Mirai’s electric motor and battery pack are mounted above the rear axle. It’s a heavily redesigned version of the old car’s system, featuring simplified wiring and improved internals. The optimizations ensure a weight reduction of 50 percent, but an increase in performance of 12 percent – with an increase in output from 154 hp to 172 hp.
As an added benefit, Toyota also says the Mirai’s drivetrain cleans the air it drives through. The system has a fabric filter element in the inlet that captures pollutants such as sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and particles up to a diameter of 2.5 micrometers – with an efficiency between 90 and 100 percent.
In terms of design, the new Mirai has adopted a more aggressive and sporty design language than its predecessor. It’s lower and wider than the car it’s replacing, and has a sleeker profile, with a long hood and sloping roofline – all of which, according to Toyota, have improved the car’s aerodynamics and helped make each hydrogen tank a few miles more away is .
The Mirai’s cabin has been redesigned with leather upholstery, a soft-touch dashboard, a wireless smartphone charger, a new 12.3-inch infotainment system on the dashboard, and a digital instrument cluster. In addition, thanks to its new hydrogen storage system, the Mirai now offers space for five instead of four.
What do you think of the second generation Toyota Mirai? Let us know in the comments section below …