The new, larger Toyota Mirai offers greater performance combined with a longer range. Its enhanced handling and more emotive design should boost sales.
The new Toyota Mirai fuel cell saloon is based on the New Global Architecture from Toyota for greater rigidity and a lower centre of gravity. Now with five doors, this saloon is longer (4,975 mm), wider (1,885 mm) and lower (1,470 mm) than its predecessor and has a larger wheelbase. But above all, the Mirai now features an even more pleasing look. "We have pursued the goal of making a car that customers will feel they want to drive all the time, 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," explains Yoshikazu Tanaka, the new Mirai’s Chief Engineer.
The second-generation hydrogen saloon will also be more fun to drive. This goal will be achieved with a further developed fuel cell which weighs half as much as before. Thanks to the GA-L platform, the entire system comprising water pumps, intercooler, air conditioner, compressor and hydrogen circulation system is now accommodated under the bonnet instead of in the vehicle floor. The more compact high-voltage battery and electric motor are positioned above the rear axle, enabling a 50:50 weight distribution.
Performance increase for the Mirai
The proton-exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) now provides a maximum output of 128 kW (174 HP), up from 114 kW (155 HP). It now consists of 330 instead of 370 cells, with a specific power density of 5.4 kW per litre. Silicon-carbide semiconductors in the transistors of the Intelligent Power Modules (IPM) are intended to improve power output. An 84-cell high-voltage lithium-ion battery replaces the predecessor's nickel metal hydride battery. The new battery also decreases weight while increasing energy density.
Three high-pressure hydrogen tanks, replacing the previous two, extend the Mirai's range by up to 30 percent. The tanks are arranged in a T-shaped configuration, with the largest tank positioned longitudinally under the centre of the vehicle floor and the two smaller ones transversely under the rear seats and luggage compartment. Their total storage capacity increased to 5.6 kg. While the first generation could go around 500 kilometres without refuelling, the total range is now around 650 kilometres.
Toyota aims to increase sales tenfold
New multi-link front and rear suspensions replace the previous front MacPherson struts and twist-beam rear axle and, like the 19" and 20" wheels, should enhance handling. Toyota intends to increase sales of the second-generation vehicle tenfold compared to its predecessor. Improved handling and higher performance, as well as a 20 percent lower price, should contribute to reaching this ambitious goal.