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Hydrogen Toyota Mirai for the first time with your own eyes. Despite the handicap, he wants to attract attention in the Czech Republic as well

Toyota is walking a bit in its own way at the time of electrification. While European manufacturers are pushing for the idea of ​​battery electric cars, even with regard to domestic emission standards, in Japan, despite the development of such cars, they still trust primarily hybrids and, in the long term, hydrogen fuel cell electric cars. As a pioneer of this technology, Toyota is the first to sell such a car on the Czech market.

This is the second generation of the Mirai model, which officially enters the Czech market before the Hyundai Nexo or Honda Clarity, other today’s models with hydrogen cells, which are already sold elsewhere in the world. At the same time, Toyota acknowledges that so far it is mainly a technological flagship, which will primarily attract customers looking for unusual technology. Just because the first public hydrogen station in our country is just opening.

A major change in style

Toyota began selling the Mirai in 2014, but last year’s second generation, despite its common name, was fundamentally different from its predecessor. Not only with the advanced development of technology, but also with its concept.

The first Mirai was really designed as a pioneer of new technology, and therefore its design was mainly to provoke discussion to draw attention to its unusual technique. The second generation goes one step further and, on the contrary, wants to be a car that will appeal to the first one with its design. Hydrogen propulsion, on the other hand, should be a supplement. This is related to the development of the network of hydrogen stations in the world, as well as to Toyota’s more generous production plans. If the first Mirai, due to its character, was created more or less by hand, with an annual production of 3,000 cars, the new Mirai is already a production car, with an announced production capacity of 30,000 cars per year.

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It should be noted that you will turn behind the new Mirai not out of curiosity, but with a look at an interestingly shaped car. In the second generation, the Miraia became elegant in the style of a four-door coupe, with a long bonnet and an emphasis on the rear-wheel drive. At the same time, the car remains distinctive, with a distinctive mask and a “shark” snout in front or rear with horizontally oriented lamps extended to the center.

No wonder Toyota calls the Mirai a limousine. After all, it was originally said that a car designed in this way would get the features of Lexus. In the end, however, it became the flagship of the parent Toyota, which corresponds to the most luxurious interior in the offer of the Japanese brand.

With a length of 4,975 mm, it is also the longest classic Toyota model in the European offer, which corresponds in size to the Lexus ES. By the way, Mirai is 70 mm wider and 65 mm lower intergenerationally, which helped the proportions. An increase in the wheelbase of 145 mm in turn helps the interior space.

The truth is, however, that due to the space-consuming propulsion system, it is average at best. Although I sit relatively well behind me with my height of 185 centimeters, due to the higher floor, the space for the feet is limited. I then have a minimum of space above my head, also due to the extra panoramic roof, creating an unpleasant bulge in the ceiling.

Unlike the previous Miraia, the novelty is a five-seater, but the space in the middle at the back is just as noticeably limited by the central tunnel. But I like the “premium” armrest of the highest specification with the possibility of controlling the air conditioning and other elements from the rear seats.

In any case, the front is very comfortable to sit on. The processing and selection of materials is at a high level, comparable to Lexus. Fortunately, the Mirai also retains the classic controls. The 12.3 “widescreen infotainment screen then allows, as in Highlander, the division into two areas, displaying different information.

Actually known technique

As mentioned in the introduction, Mirai also underwent a reworked technique as part of the intergenerational transformation. Toyota has learned from existing knowledge, so it has fundamentally regrouped the powertrain and made selected parts more compact, although the concept with hydrogen fuel cells has remained the same. Thus, in the fuel cell, the reaction of hydrogen and oxygen molecules produces electricity and wastewater. About a liter of water evaporates per 100 km.

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The electric motor has been moved backwards, thanks to which it now drives the rear wheels, which is to ensure “more interesting” driving characteristics. There are three or three hydrogen tanks, the new one is the largest, longitudinally placed in the middle of the vehicle floor, supplemented by two smaller ones at the rear seats. That’s why the luggage compartment has a volume of only 291 liters, but quite regularly shaped. Tanks with a service life of 15 years consist of three layers of material. One is plastic to reduce the leakage of hydrogen molecules, the other composite for strength (hydrogen is stored inside at a pressure of 700 bar) and the third of composites and glass fibers to ensure durability. A special valve then holds the hydrogen inside the tanks, in the event of an accident, on the contrary, it opens for controlled combustion.

On the contrary, the fuel cells (330 of them) moved from under the front seats under the hood, which increased the interior space. And it is also supposed to reduce noise, because so far the crew has been disturbed by noise from the intake air. The battery covering the power gaps, in which electricity is stored during brake energy recovery, is then also located behind the rear seats.

Even though it is such a modern system that another car does not use in this particular form, Toyota emphasizes that 85% of the system’s components are already known. Specifically, the synchronous electric motor with a permanent magnet comes from the Lexus UX 300e, the control unit is from the Toyota hybrid and the battery from the Lexus LS 500h.

Specifically, the powertrain provides 134 kW and 300 Nm of torque, allowing the Mirai to move from 0-100 km / h in nine seconds. Top speed is 175 km / h.

Compared to conventional battery electric cars, the advantage is a range of 650 kilometers, which is 30% more than its predecessor. The trump card, however, is mainly the speed of refueling, which lasts only about five minutes, which is a much shorter time than with today’s fastest fast charging of battery electric cars.

Toyota Mirai – Czech prices and technical data
Greatest performance [kW] 134
Torque [N.m] 300
Max. speed [km/h] 175
Acceleration 0-100 km / h [s] 9,0
Comb. hydrogen consumption [kg/100 km] 0,79-0,89
Range [km] 650
Cena Comfort [Kč] 1.700.000
Cena Executive [Kč] 1.800.000

State-of-the-art equipment

By the way, the basis of the Miraia is the modular TNGA platform in the GA-L version, reserved for large cars, so far primarily the Lexus brand. At the front and rear, the car uses an independent multi-link suspension.

Related to this is the most modern electronic equipment, which Mirai once again proves to be the flagship of the brand. Features such as a head-up display with windscreen projection, ventilated rear seats or advanced driving assistants are also available.

Adaptive cruise control decelerates before a turn, while the automatic parking assistant does not rely only on marked parking spaces. It is possible to store, for example, a specific space near the house in his memory, into which the car will then park automatically. And then calmly evaporate. The air cleaning function is also a specialty. This is because the cleanest possible air is required for the reaction in the hydrogen cell, so the suction system uses a nonwoven filter absorbing nitrogen oxides and sulfur.

This corresponds to the price, starting at 1.7 million crowns. In higher equipment with surcharges, it will then increase to two million. It is not small, but in the world of hydrogen cars it is a common price tag, such a hydrogen Hyundai Nexo costs in neighboring Germany in the amount of some 1.8 million crowns.

So far 25 cars for the Czech Republic

Even in the second generation, the Toyota Mirai remains a rather technical delight, which is at least for the time being limited by the lack of public hydrogen stations in the Czech environment. This year, the first two will only open (in Prague in Barrandov and Litvínov), in the next two years they will be followed by filling stations in Brno, Prague’s Horní Počernice or Pilsen. The possibility of refueling hydrogen will thus continue to be limited in our country, which at least partially compensates for a decent range. In addition to Unipetrol, other entities are also interested in building stations, which could further expand the hydrogen network. Elsewhere in Europe, there are already over 130 hydrogen stations.

Nevertheless, the Czech representation of the brand has relatively ambitious plans. It has 25 Miraia pieces allocated for this year, the first of which will arrive in the autumn. At the same time, a third already have their owner, specifically five cars, for example, will head to the aforementioned Unipetrol.

In the future, distribution and service will be provided by dealers who meet “hydrogen standards”, including a specially trained dealer and specific servicing tools, which is also common with electric cars. The service interval will be 15,000 km or a year, with the powertrain covered by a five-year warranty.

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