So far, the Mirai has been exotic in this country in several ways. Technically: an FCEV, one that uses fuel cells to produce propulsion power from hydrogen. Visually: futuristically styled in a Japanese way, outside and inside. Frequency: found very rarely. In terms of price: quite exclusive – from 79,800 euros (2019). That affects the first generation. It was presented in 2014, not introduced in all markets from 2015 and initially not available for sale in Austria.
Not only that is different now, with the start of the second generation of the Mirai, whose name stands for the word “future”! The Japanese is completely renewed, from the platform to the design to the (fuel cell) technology.
“Toyota Motor Corporation sees hydrogen as an efficient fuel for the future …” Rudolf Glass, Press Spokesman Toyota Austria
The styling hardly flirts with bold futuristics anymore, it is dominated by clear lines with a sporty cut. It has increased its dimensions: plus 85 to 4,975 millimeters in length, plus 70 to 1,885 millimeters in width … and minus 65 to 1,470 millimeters in height.
The wheelbase is also longer, now measuring 2,920 millimeters (plus 140).
The interior is more spacious and homely, in the first row with a wider center console.
Three passengers can now sit on the rear bench, whereby the narrow middle seat can be converted into an armrest with a storage compartment.
The information tools are immediately understandable even for those who are not yet familiar with electric vehicles.
The control elements are partly digital, partly analog. And can be found intuitively, such as the button for selecting the driving modes (Eco, Normal, Sport), easy to access on the center console.
With the platform change (the car is built on the modern GA-L platform), it was converted to rear-wheel drive.
The weight distribution has been rebalanced, it is now 50:50.
The fuel cell unit, which is more compact than before, has moved under the front hood.
The re are now three high-pressure tanks on board, arranged in a T-shape in the vehicle floor.
The y hold a total of 5.6 kilograms of hydrogen (previously: 4.8).
The high-voltage battery – now lithium-ion, previously nickel-metal hydride – with a capacity of 1.24 kWh sits behind the rear seats.
On the one hand familiar, on the other hand new
The electrical unit is positioned on the rear axle. That too has increased in power: from 155 to 182 hp.
The fuel cell has gained little weight: from 1,850 to 1,900 kilograms. It goes from zero to 100 in 9.2 seconds and the top speed is limited to 175 km / h. Toyota puts the range at up to 650 kilometers (plus 30 percent more).
The average consumption is given as 0.79 to 0.89 kilograms of hydrogen per 100 kilometers. It is already known that the refueling process only takes a few minutes, as with fossil fuels. However, there are only five hydrogen filling stations (OMV) in Austria – one of them is in Lower Austria, in Wiener Neudorf.
In practice, if you know the predecessor, the Mirai feels familiar on the one hand and new on the other. With the side windows closed, the acoustic backdrop is as good as noiseless, no whistling, no singing, no chirping can be heard. That contributes to relaxation.
The power development is not brutal, but you don’t need that either, the Toyota picks up speed just as persistently as it is elastic.
The long wheelbase in combination with the comfortable, but not soft or even rocking suspension setup tempts you to accelerate gliding on the motorway and country roads.
The weight is noticeable in fast alternating bends, but it doesn’t rumble even on very holey asphalt. On damp ground, the control electronics strictly ensure that he does not kick his back hooves.
In retrospect, the first generation Mirai looks almost like a pre-series prototype compared to the new model.
The feeling of living is now enough, not only in the top model that is driven, to that of the luxury Toyota brand Lexus.