The words “Lexus LS” was mentioned more times than one. That’s the reaction we observed from locals and the foreign media when the new second-generation Mirai was displayed at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show.
Suffice to say, the Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV) concept which is in its final stages of development has buried the ghost of the original first-generation Mirai launched in 2014 which looked more like an origami on wheels rather than a car.
But it’s still no Lexus LS – not quite – as they’re not even built on the same platform. The LS still reigns supreme as the “limo of the family” with a wheelbase measuring well in excess of 3000 mm while the Mirai is just shy of the same figure.
In fact, the Mirai shares the same rear-wheel drive (RWD) platform as the Japan-only Toyota Crown but it’s no copy and paste either.
Set to go on sale late 2020, the Mirai holds its own with a long sweeping bonnet, fastback-like C-pillar and a booty that’s distinguishable from a mile away.
So where does this inspiration come from? For starters, the new Mirai had an inspirational Chief Engineer.
“I want customers to say “I chose the Mirai simply because I wanted it – it just so happened to be an FCEV,” said Yoshikazu Tanaka.
“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,” he added.
Honestly, with looks like that, you’d be glad to just glare at the car from a stool.
It’s not a blonder airhead either. Built on the GA-L version of the Toyota New Global Architecture Platform (TNGA), the Mirai promises better handling with a lower centre of gravity and increased body rigidity.
The Mirai will not be the only vehicle adopting the FCEV system as Toyota claims that it will be offered to the company’s global partners to be used in buses and trucks.
“Production capacity will be further enhanced for the launch to take our fuel cell electric vehicles to the next stage,” said Toyota Chief Technology Officer and Executive Vice President, Shigeki Terashi.