Car News

Toyota Previews Next-Generation Mirai with Handsome New Concept

In our opinion, the current Toyota Mirai looks a bit like a Toyota Prius Prime with a questionable aftermarket body kit. It's not a great look.

We're happy to report the Japanese automaker is taking a completely new approach for the second-generation of its Mirai, however, showing off a handsome concept for the hydrogen-powered vehicle ahead of this year's 2019 Tokyo Motor Show.

Toyota says its completely reimagined Mirai will launch in late 2020 in Japan, North America, and Europe. The fuel-cell EV will have increased hydrogen storage capacity, resulting in a 30% increase in total driving range, and will also be based on Toyota's rear-wheel-drive TNGA platform - the same architecture that underpins cars like the Lexus LC and Lexus LS.

The Lexus relation is quite clear when you look at the interior of the Mirai Concept. A 12.3-inch widescreen display spans half the width of the dashboard, which has a wraparound design intended to "embrace," the driver and create "a feeling of warmth and comfort," Toyota says. Crucially, the improved packaging of the next-gen hydrogen electric powertrain means the new Mirai has five seats - whereas the current car only has four.

"We have worked to make a car that customers will want to drive all the time, a car that has an emotional and attractive design and the kind of dynamic and responsive performance that can bring a smile to the driver's face," said Mirai chief engineer Yoshikazu Tanaka. "I want customers to say 'I chose the Mirai because I simply wanted this car, and it just happens to be an FCEV.' We will continue our development work focusing on that feeling, and we hope that with the new Mirai we will be a leader in helping to realize a hydrogen energy society."

Some have questioned why Toyota won't debut the next Mirai as a pure battery-powered electric vehicle instead of a hydrogen-powered car. While EV insfrastructure and charging is growing and getting better all the time, hydrogen fuelling stations are still quite rare.

More information on the next-generation Toyota Mirai, such as driving range and horsepower/torque figures, will be available following its official unveiling at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show, which kicks off later this month.

In other Toyota EV news, Toyota Canada has announced it will extend the battery warranty on all of its hybrid vehicles from eight years or 160,000 km to 10 years or 240,000 km. The extension is valid for all 2020 Toyota hybrid electric vehicles and gives the automaker the most longest battery warranty of any automaker in the country. We should remind you Toyota's hybrid lineup doesn't consist of only the Prius and Prius Prime anymore - it also has the RAV4 Hybrid, Camry Hybrid and Corolla Hybrid to offer Canadian customers.

“Toyota hybrid vehicles have been on our roads for almost 20 years and this new warranty extension is a testament to the benefits hybrid technology brings to our customers, our communities and our environment” said Toyota Canada's VP of sales and marketing. “In Canada alone, Toyota’s hybrid vehicle sales continue to grow every month. Just last month, we broke our annual hybrid sales record a full quarter early.”