The first impression immediately conveys that this Mirai is no ordinary Toyota. Its design is much more pleasing to European tastes than that of its predecessor – and it is bigger, fancier, and more refined than the Mirai 1. This impression is underlined by the statement of the director of the Berlin representative office of Toyota Motor Europe, Ferry Franz, that this model was actually supposed to be a Lexus.
Lexus is Toyota’s noble brand, playing in the same league as Mercedes, BMW and Audi. The Japanese manufacturer does not have to hide behind European suppliers, because the Mirai 2 is a sporty saloon car that makes a good impression with its good workmanship and elegant design. The coupé shape elicits words of praise even from die-hard BMW lovers, especially since the Mirai 1 had an unusual shape for Western habits – similar to the Toyota Prius hybrid vehicle, which is not particularly popular with many German drivers simply because of its Asian design.
While the Mirai 1 was a mid-range car, the Japanese are moving into the luxury segment with its successor. Originally, it was planned by Toyota Motor Corporation that Lexus would offer its own FC model. During the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January 2018, the Lexus LF-1 Limitless was presented as a concept study of a crossover model that should offer limitless possibilities (see H2-international issue Apr. 2018). This model was derived from the LF-FC (Lexus Future – Flagship Car/Fuel Cell, see H2-international issue Apr. 2017), about which it was said at the time that its features could be offered in the LS luxury sedan with fuel cell from 2019. Now it is 2021 and has become a Toyota, but the similarity between the Mirai 2 and the LF-1 is not coincidental.
Special features of the five-seater are a remarkable length of 4.975 metres and a rear-wheel drive instead of the often common front-wheel drive. The most lasting impression on this car is made by the 20-inch rims. Three out of four interested parties who wanted to know more about this vehicle praised its design. These comparatively large tyres are mainly for visual reasons. According to Ferry Franz, the Mirai 2 runs even more quietly with 19-inch rims and also with ten percent less hydrogen; they are also much cheaper.
But the Mirai 2 also looks much better than its predecessor in other respects. The coupé shape is well received, even if the car looks much bigger on the outside than it is on the inside. With five people, the streamlined Grand Tourismo is very cramped, and the low height means that even tall people in the front quickly bump into the headliner, while only curved seating positions are possible for them in the rear.
With its 133 kW (182 hp), the fuel cell drive unit accelerates the 1,900 kg unladen weight of the Mirai swiftly to 100 kilometres per hour, even when fully loaded. (“Just like on an aeroplane!” said a fellow passenger) The hydrogen stored in a total of three 700-bar pressure tanks (two transversely, one longitudinally arranged) enables a 30-percent further driving distance than with the predecessor model.
… Read more in the latest H2-International e-Journal, Aug 2021
Author: Sven Geitmann