Groningen, The Netherlands 10th August 2021;

Toyota has been a pioneer in technology for several decades. They were the first to put a Hybrid car system into mass production and the second one to launch a hydrogen fuel cell car on the market.    Now Toyota gives us a cordless alternative to a cleaner future with the Mirai. We are grateful to Louwman (Toyota) Groningen, who lend us this beautiful Prestige edition of the Toyota Mirai so we can delight your senses regarding this luxury limo-sedan.

Text: Roley Richardson, Benjamin Wefer  

 

Toyota’s alternative to electric vehicles seems promising with a driving range of 650km on paper; It’s quickly refueled instead of countless charging hours at the station and it offers a ton of luxury. Our version is the Prestige edition in the color Force Blue premium metallic with dual panoramic roof, heads-up display, heated & cooled seats and 20” rims wrapped with 245/45ZR20 tires.

The Mirai has an electromotor that produces around 182 horsepower and 221 lb-ft of torque. Simultaneously the energy produced by the electromotor is stored in a 31.5 kW lithium-ion battery pack (84 cells) that weighs 44.6 kg. All of this is good enough to launch the 1895 kg weighing body from 0 to 100 km/h in 9.0 seconds at a top speed of 175 km/h.

So, how does all this work actually? There is a 52kg weighing polymer electrolyte fuel cell (Model FCA110) that contains 330 fuel cells. Hydrogen flows through injectors from the hydrogen tank onto the anode of the fuel cells. When air coming from the intake flows onto the cathode, the Hydrogen molecules react with the oxygen molecules in the air. This chemical reaction creates an electrical current that is boosted further up to the required voltage. The electric current produced feeds a 90 kg weighing permanent magnet AC synchronous electric motor. 

And the emission? Well, the only thing coming out of the tailpipe is water. You Just have to make sure you fill up the tank using one of the 700 bar fueling stations approved by Toyota. Refueling the 5.6 kg fuel tank will take just a couple of minutes. The downside is that there are not a lot of hydrogen stations yet in the Netherlands. Groningen still has only one station with a second one coming soon in the vicinity of Louwman Groningen. The other downside at the moment is the price. Because the technology is still in development, the pricing of the vehicle is still a bit high. But given some time, the purchasing price will drastically decrease. Fact is that the second-generation Mirai is already a lot cheaper than the first generation when first launched. A phenomenon we’ve already seen when the EV’s came to the market.

Launched in 2015, the Toyota Mirai had not exactly a traditional look that would catch the heart of a petrol head straight away. Last year Toyota improved the Mirai’s sex appeal by giving the Mirai a brand-new look and placing it on a high-end platform; The GA-L high-end platform. The Mirai has a total length of 4.9 meters, is 1.885 meters wide and is 1.470 meters in high. The wheelbase is 2.920 meters and has a turning diameter of 11.7 m. It’s a big car that needs you to get acquainted to its size specially if you commute a lot in the city or tight parking lots. Luckily there are sensors and a camera upfront to facilitate the driving experience.

 

The front camera can be programmed to activate when you reach a traffic light or a parking garage. The screen automatically switches over to the front view camera. This feature happened to be very useful when we drove in a tight parking garage. We drove the car for a whole weekend using the navigation system. The system performed flawlessly switching from navigation to front camera and vice versa. The multimedia system is also easy to use and the JBL audio system will give you the feeling that you are in a recording studio. Even though it is a big car, the trunk space is limited to only 321 liters due to the hydrogen tanks. No extended trunk storage space can be created as the rear seats cannot be folded.

Once behind the wheel and the engine starts, your green journey begins. The engine sounds like a tamed aircraft ready to drive you to the future. You have programmable seats that go back to a neutral preset, allowing easy access in and out of the vehicle.

The dashboard has a very nice outward-curving line that leads your eyes to the controlling knobs like dual climate control etc. Everything in this cabin feels nice and elegant. The Mirai is not only aesthetically pleasing but also very easy in its operation. Just push the joystick shifter to the left and down for the driving mode or the upper left for reverse. When you put the car in reverse, the 12.6-inch display provides you a split view from multiple cameras. One side gives you the birds-eye view camera with a perimeter scan. It uses four cameras to create an animated virtual view from above to provide you a better picture of your surroundings. The other part of the monitor gives you the back view.

In the back is where you start to feel presidential. The backseats are very comfortable and have a beautiful stitching pattern. You have plenty of leg and headroom. However, this is only the case if you are not taller than 6 feet (1,8 meters) and are not fitting three adults in the back. There is a huge hump in the middle due to one of the hydrogen tanks making it impossible to fit someone in the middle seat. On the back of the center console, you will find two USB charging points and also air vents. 

The back seat’s armrest is soft padded and wrapped in leather. The armrest contains two cupholders and also a touch screen to control the climate or JBL entertainment system. The Mirai has a three-way climate control system, which means that driver, front passenger and the rear passengers can each control the temperature independently. And for the cherry on top: the back seats are heated and cooled! Do not get confused about the car brand; This is Toyota at its finest!

We believe that this vehicle is a worthy luxury alternative to electrical vehicles but also to other hydrogen powered cars. The smooth and dosed acceleration in combination with the quiet cabin is a recipe for a relaxed, safe, and speeding ticket free ride. If you want premium but don’t want to spend hours charging an EV battery during your journey and if you travel light with luggage and don’t want that nerve-racking acceleration of a dual-motor electrical vehicle than the Mirai should certainty, be on your list of consideration. If you are still in doubt about the technology provided by Toyota than you should know that Toyota gives 5 years warranty on the first 200.000 KM and 12 years warranty on body work defects.