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Toyota moves Mirai upscale for new generation for 2021 model year

Due late in 2020, new Mirai is built on Toyota’s premium rear-drive platform

Published: October 11, 2019, 2:30 AM
Updated: October 11, 2019, 3:43 AM

Toyota Mirai Concept

When other manufacturers are abandoning the 3-box bodystyle, Toyota is rebooting the fuel-cell Mirai for its second generation as a 4-door coupe, due to go on sale toward the end of 2020.

Toyota Mirai Concept

Toyota is showing off the look of the 2021 Mirai (the company’s design and technology flagship) in the form of a Mirai Concept, clad in a new blue colour that’s new to Toyota. The fuel-cell electric vehicle (FCEV) is built on Toyota’s premium rear-drive platform, and features enhancements in performance and powertrain, as well.

“We have pursued making a car that customers feel like driving all the time, a car that has emotional and attractive design appeal, as well as dynamic and responsive driving performance that can bring a smile to the faces of drivers,” said Yoshikazu Tanaka, Chief Engineer of the Mirai. “I want customers to say, ‘I chose the Mirai not because it’s an FCEV, but because I really wanted this car, and it just happened to be an FCEV.’”

Toyota Mirai Concept

The electric car, which differs from others in that it doesn’t need to be plugged in (though it does need a hydrogen fuelling station), is expected to have an increase in driving range of about 30%, through the use of a new-generation fuel-cell system and a bigger hydrogen tank. Fuelling up takes about as long as filling a BBQ propane tank, though public stations are only available in British Columbia at the moment (Mirai is available to fleets in BC and Quebec).

The switch to rear wheel drive (the original was a front-drive sedan) on the new platform moves it up a size class, resulting in a car that’s lower, longer and wider than the original, and the body is stiffer than the previous generation. Dimensionally, it’s marginally larger than the Lexus GS sedan.

2016 Toyota Mirai

The increased exterior dimensions also make a roomier 5-passenger cabin that’s clean, modern and quiet (reminiscent of modern premium sedans). Futuristic touches include an 8-inch instrument cluster, 12.3-inch instrument panel touchscreen, digital rearview mirror with integrated rear camera display, and 14-speaker JBL audio system.