The Toyota Mirai of 2014 was a showcase for hydrogen fuel cell technology. But it also came across like a Prius that was left to bake in the oven for too long. Instead of talking about its ground-breaking propulsion system, observers were left bewildered by its clumsy styling.
Well, Toyota must have changed the chefs at its design kitchen because the second coming of the Mirai is absolutely gorgeous, with a cabin design that would make a Lexus blush. In fact, this may even be the most beautiful car in the entire Toyota stable when it goes on sale in 2020.
Where the original was stumpy and frumpy, the 2020 Mirai is slender and sexy, with a long hood and the swoopy silhouette of a rear-wheel drive…because it is now a rear-wheel drive (previously FWD), built on Toyota’s latest RWD modular platform engineered to accommodate different powertrains, including a hydrogen fuel cell.
The new body structure of the second-generation Mirai allows it to have larger hydrogen tanks, along with improvements to the fuel-cell system, Toyota is targeting a 30% increase in driving range from around 500 km previously to 645 km per tank.
Despite looking like an oddball, around 10,000 units of the original Mirai were actually sold to customers in countries with hydrogen fueling, more often than not utilised by governments and local councils for test programmes.
Mirai chief engineer Yoshikazu Tanaka said, “We have pursued the goal of making a car that customers will feel they want to drive all 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.”
While still categorised as a ‘concept’, we think the Mirai is pretty much the finished item as it prepares to make its public debut in the forthcoming Tokyo motor show. With looks that kill, it’s safe to say that the second iteration of the Mirai is going to sell more than 10,000 units.