The Toyota Mirai was designed to stand out, and it didn’t really matter if you thought it was ugly because it was different enough to catch your attention. It looks like nothing else on the road (besides the Prius Plug-in) but, on the rare occasion you saw one, it was a real head-turner.
Toyota will reveal a new Mirai concept at the Tokyo Motor Show, but it looks like it could enter showrooms now. Its swooping shape highlights its length – with massive overhangs, it looks a similar size to the Mercedes S-Class. There’s a whole new (ever-so-slightly fishy) face at the front, along with a wide grille and chrome accents.
From the back, we can’t help noticing hints of the Supra and Audi A7 in the design, with a ducktail spoiler and long tailgate. Of course, the bumper is clean-looking as it doesn’t need an exhaust, while ‘Fuel Cell’ badges highlight its eco credentials. But, if you didn’t notice these details, would it be too easy to mistake this for a Camry or something? Won’t it blend in too much?
The new car will get powertrain improvements, Toyota has confirmed. Details will be scarce until the car’s revealed later in October, but Toyota is targeting a 30 per cent increase in driving range thanks to larger hydrogen tanks and other alterations. As a result, the new model should achieve around 400 miles to a tank.
Looking inside, it’s as drastically different to the old model as the exterior styling. Gone is the multipack of gloss-black plastic and the dashboard-mounted speedometer; it’s now more executive and mainstream in its design. Still, it looks modern, with the central 12.3-inch infotainment touchscreen and the digital instrument display meeting in the middle like a Mercedes. The copper sweeps are a nice touch, too. For the first time, the Mirai will be a five-seater.
It sits on Toyota’s latest rear-wheel-drive platform, which was built to accommodate a range of powertrains including a hydrogen fuel cell. Once the technology’s more widespread, it could open the doors for other hydrogen-powered models.
The new Mirai will have a lower centre of gravity and will be more agile than the current model, and Toyota says the driver’s throttle inputs will match the car’s acceleration, which is handy. The steering is light and easy, the company adds.
What do you think of the Toyota Mirai’s new design? Much better than before, or would you have preferred it to stand out a bit more?