We all knew that Toyota was going to come out with a new generation of Mirai, but everybody was quite surprised to see the road that they took with this project. We are not getting another hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle that is Prius-like, but we are getting a big rear-drive sedan that looks amazing.
The Mirai’s chief engineer Yoshikazu Tanaka was at the LA Auto Show not that long ago, so he was able to explain why did Toyota make this kind of a choice with the new Mirai. His main reason for going rear-drive this time is to make more room for hydrogen tanks. This helps with the driving range, it increases it, which helps to maks the problems that were created by the lack of infrastructure.
Here is Tanaka’s exact explanation: „We needed to extract the full potential of what the vehicle could be, and because you have these infrastructure limitations, we needed to make a car that was super appealing to these customers.“
Tanaka understands that it is very important for a car to look good, there are no ifs, and, or buts about that. An extended driving range is also important, but all of that is pointless if the car doesn’t drive and feel well, if it does not have a good performance. That is what chief engineer Yoshikazu Tanaka wants to point out.
They don’t want to call this a new sports sedan, but going rear-wheel drive is making it a lot easier to drive and it’s making it really comfortable.
Tanaka did not want to say this, but we can read this from in between the lines – they want the 2021 Toyota Mirai to be for the hydrogen cars what Tesla Model S is for the electric cars. Toyota is going all-out with this model, now we can just wait and see how big of an impact this vehicle can make.