Toyota Mirai 2021’s driving reports are in our news. While others find hydrogen very attractive as a clean energy carrier of the future, but give it few opportunities because of its (still?) Energy-intensive production, others simply do it. Toyota, for example. The first Toyota Mirai used hydrogen as early as 2015 to drive its 113 kW (154 PS) electric motor, and in March 2021 the Mirai II will be available at dealerships, which is waiting for us as a less glamorous prototype in a gray industrial area near Cologne on this gloomy November morning.
Toyota is very serious about it: It was 15,000 euros cheaper than its predecessor and is to be built 30,000 times a year as the spearhead of a strategy that also involves low-emission, electrically powered trucks with fuel cells.
But back to Cologne: While the first Toyota Mirai always looked like the sheet metal drawing of a boy who is better an influencer than a designer, the new one flatters the eye. It is 5.5 centimeters flatter and nine centimeters longer than a wheelbase that has grown by 14 centimeters. And the body spans fluently in the style of a four-door coupé from the trapezoidal air inlet at the front to the narrow rear lights. Anyone who thinks a little about the Audi A7 is not so wrong.
New elegance by the specifications of chief developer Yoshikazu Tanaka: “We want the consumer to see our car and say: I’ve always wanted to drive a car like this”. Even if the network of hydrogen filling stations is growing worldwide (in 2015 there were only 20 public filling stations in Germany, today there are 86), nobody wants to drive a car that constantly makes them fearful of range.
Therefore, with the Toyota Mirai II, all signs were aimed at improving overall efficiency for more range and more classic driving fun. More tank volume is only the first step on the way to the promised range of over 650 kilometers – that would correspond to around 0.85 kilograms of hydrogen per 100 kilometers at a kilo price of 9.50 euros.
Toyota Mirai 2021 Engine
Three tanks, instead of the previous two, are now bunkering with a volume of 144 liters, 5.6 instead of 4.6 kg of hydrogen. The largest of the cigar-shaped tanks lies lengthways in the floor of the new global Toyotas platform, two shorter ones are positioned transversely in the large rear seat / rear axle trunk. The lithium-ion battery with 84 cells and 311 volts nominal voltage, which is trimmed for more efficiency, and the equally new permanent magnet synchronous motor with 134 kW (182 hp) and 300 Newton-meters (previously: 335 Nm) are also located there.
This includes the smaller and lighter, but more powerful fuel cell in the bow with 330 instead of 370 cells, which generates electricity from hydrogen and the ambient air, a lot of technology that needs to be housed in a crash-proof manner. And so you shouldn’t be surprised that the space available doesn’t correlate with what you expect from a five-meter-long coupé. In the front, in the cockpit equipped with brilliant monitors, with lots of fine frames and soft materials, there is no lack of space in the generously dimensioned and variably adjustable seats.
The situation is different on the rear bench seat, which now officially offers three instead of two passengers. Legroom is in short supply, and at least under the panoramic roof of the top version Advanced (73,900 euros), headroom is a foreign word with eight letters. Given the length of the vehicle, the trunk is rather tiny. In the absence of manufacturer information, the visual inspection must suffice, and it leaves doubts that the Toyota Mirai II significantly exceeds the 361 liters of its predecessor.
If it was already an unexpectedly agile car for skeptics, the new one should go one step further with a balanced 50:50 axle load distribution and rear instead of front-drive. However, this could not be properly experienced on this short morning in city traffic.
However, the suspension comfort seems to be of high quality, at least on roads of the usual quality. Since the steering is not designed to run too smoothly, there is also a trust-building contact with the road. The brake pedal of the prototype responded a bit too sharply – wait and see. The reactions are confident when the right pedal is pressed. 300 Newton meters is not a monster value for a car weighing almost two tons. But they are ready from the first turn of the electric motor and do not push in the remotest lazy way. The temperament offered with minimal noise appears to be quite sufficient, even if the acceleration of the Mirai does not come close to battery-electric cars in its price class.
The equipment is already generous in the basic model, including the most modern Toyota safety assistance. And somehow it makes you think that this car in the world, probably the most courageously intended for the future, still has numerous buttons, while elsewhere people like to look to the future by relying on touch-sensitive fields and monitors.
Toyota Mirai 2021 Price
The prices start at 63,900 euros and range from 66,900 euros (Exclusive) to 73,900 euros for the Mirai Advanced – minus a 7,500 euros promotional bonus.