Toyota hasn’t produced the first hybrid car in the world, but it was the brand that brought it to the spotlight. Now, since it is widely recognized and most established brand in that area, it is time for it to break boundaries once again. So, the offer of hybrid powertrain across the lineup is wide as it can get, while inclination to electric vehicles has been quite poor so far by Japanese brand, leaving it lagging behind many brands that had that type of offer for some time now.
That was because the company turned its focus to something else, not so well developed, and place where new revolution is possible. We are referring to hydrogen here, and that leads us to 2017 Toyota Mirai. Again Mirai is not the first, as Honda did it with Clarity and Hyundai with ix35 FCEV before, but if it manages to steal just part of the amount of Prius’s fame, that should satisfy it.
It is only completely zero emission car in Toyota lineup. Power comes from 114 kWh or 153 hp fuel cell located under the front seats, which supplies electric motor with electricity, which finally powers the front wheels. There is also one more battery, and that is 1.6 kWh nickel-metal-hydride one, which primarily serves as helping hand when the throttle is pushed hard.
Mirai takes 9 seconds to 60 mph, which is acceptable, but further acceleration is quite sluggish, mostly due to the weight of the car circling around 4,000 pounds. Fuel tanks can house up to 5 kg of hydrogen compressed to 10,000 psi, which gives a maximum range of 312 miles, which is significantly more than any current electric vehicles offer. Further to that, Toyota covers costs for fuel in first three years or 36,000 miles.
We are accustomed to unusual design when alternative powertrains are in question, but Mirai is a story for itself. It is interesting definitely, but hardly appealing to anyone. If Japanese wanted to shock, they certainly did it. At least interior is Prius-like, so that won’t stagger us as exterior does. The choice is minimal as there is only one trim and just a couple of options besides that.
It can accommodate four people instead of five, protecting drive range, while boot figure is not available, though it is instantly visible that it is compromised by hydrogen tanks. Fuel efficiency has also not been rated yet, but it isn’t going to outshine Prius Prime definitely. Its road manners are more similar to older Prius, which compared to current model is numb, dull and unresponsive, which would be fine, only if new Prius hasn’t been improved.
2017 Toyota Mirai Video
IF YOU WANT ONE
So, you have been smart enough to understand that irrelevant facts are indeed irrelevant and that couldn’t deter anybody wanting to be a part of the revolution or a part of future. I mean, the only thing coming out of its exhaust pipe is water and planet don’t mind more water! But, there is always “but.” You just can’t go out and buy it.
As you notice while driving around, there isn’t many hydrogen filling station, so you have to be in California in the first place, and even in certain parts of it, where those filling stations are available. If you are over there, the only thing that separates you from being part of future history could be the price tag, as our 2017 Toyota Mirai asks for hefty $57,500 which is quite above any Prius that you can get.
|2017 Toyota Mirai|
|Dimensions And Weight|
|Engine And Transmission|
|Transmission||1 Speed Automatic|
|0-60 mph||9.4 sec|
|Top speed||108 mph|
|Competitors:2017 Ford Fusion Hybrid, 2017 Kia Optima Hybrid|