20-Year Pursuit Of Toyota Finally Bears Fruit With The 2016 Toyota Mirai
Published November 29, 2014
Toyota’s 20 year pursuit of producing fuel cell vehicles for the public is now realized as the 2016 Toyota Mirai is introduced. The name “Mirai” is a Japanese word that translates “future” in English and at the moment is the nearest thing to mass-produce fuel cell powered vehicles. Toyota considers this technology to be here, and already ready for the public. When it comes to cell power technology, its infrastructure is the only factor missing. Though change is naturally constant, the tendency to not easily accept any change on what is common, known, and familiar explain clearly why such technology’s market availability is taking long.
Upon purchasing a 2016 Toyota Mirai expect instant access to carpool lanes, plus 3 years of no cost roadside assistance and maintenance, and 8-year or 100k-mile warranty for fuel-cell parts. The 2016 Mirai will have a price tag of $57,500 but Toyota stated that with state, federal, and tax credit factors, $13K will be removed from its base price. It can also be purchased through an installment plan with a $3,649 down payment, and a lease monthly payment of $499 (plus tax). A big advantage that many potential buyers are surely loving is that as of the moment the hydrogen fuel that moves the Mirai is free until California figures a way in regulating and charging it.
Environmentally Friendly System
Toyota uses a system in the 2016 Toyota Mirai that involves hydrogen gases that are compressed and stored in tanks that are made from carbon fiber located under the rear seats. The hydrogen gas then travels to the stacks of fuel cells wherein it is combined with air coming from the front intakes for air. The air’s oxygen then causes the chemical reaction that creates electricity that powers the car. Rather than harmful emissions in the atmosphere, the released byproduct of the Mirai’s system is basically water.
Hydrogen Fuel Cell Technology
The 2016 Toyota Mirai uses hydrogen fuel cells that power a particular battery (nickel-metal hydride), which powers the 151 HP electric motor that produces 249 lbs. /Ft. of total torque. As of the moment, because of the premature fueling infrastructure of fuel cell power technology, hydrogen fuel cell powered vehicle owners must rely on the Mirai’s estimated 300-mile overall range in between fill-ups.
Hydrogen Refilling Stations
Currently, only a few stations in the Southern California area dispense the needed fuel to run the 2016 Toyota Mirai. Fortunately, much needed projects are already underway in California with the goal of quintupling the current quantity of hydrogen refueling stations by 2016. A minor network of hydrogen refueling stations is also in the works in the Northeast Area. California as of the moment is requiring 33% of all hydrogen gas production to be used for such stations must be produced through resources that are renewable.
Though such environmentally vehicle systems are considered on its early developmental stages, several automotive manufacturers have already released their own models. Honda released the FCX Clarity already and was able to hit the 59 MPG mark, while Hyundai’s Fuel Cell powered Tucson get 49 MPG. The 2016 Toyota Mirai can cruise city and suburban streets without problems as it hits 46 MPG when set to Eco driving mode while averaging a speed of 25 mph. This proves that the Toyota Mirai can be considered a really worthy competitor in today’s fuel cell powered vehicle market.
Unique Exterior Design
The 2016 Toyota Mirai’s overall exterior design may not appeal to all motorists, but the company decided to take this particular design path to jive looks with their revolutionary fuel cell power technology. The somewhat bizarre styling of the Toyota Mirai is considered by many as the least likeable thing about it. The fact still remains, the exterior styling of the 2016 Toyota Mirai is really irrelevant because consumers who are interested in buying or leasing such types of vehicles because of what it is capable to do and not how it looks. Many might say it is not pleasing aesthetically, but without a doubt, the Mirai is unquestionably a solid proof that this technology is finally here.
Futuristic Interior Design
The Mirai’s interior design, on the other hand is a completely different matter. The 2016 Mirai features retro-futuristic dashboard design that is like a design mashup between the Lexus IS and the Prius. When it comes to the seats, the Mirai features comfortable seating with very soft elbow rest, the sitting position provides a nice and high orientation that gives the driver and passengers a very good outside view.
Seating Comfort and Feel
The 2016 Mirai is basically a totally equipped midsize sedan that seats four adults, features a spacious trunk, and boast with Lexus-quality interior materials. Because of the fuel cell stack’s location, the seat at the back will offer no room for passengers to place their feet beneath the seats in the front. The rear passengers sit in a quite erect position, but thanks to the high seat cushion and a somewhat reclined seat back, comfort overall levels are quite acceptable. Overall space for the knee is relatively good, and the Mirai’s front setbacks are well padded.
The Mirai features common parts that help in keeping overall costs down. The climate control system and touchscreen infotainment are very easy to use. Standard equipment will include a reverse camera, blind spot monitoring, forward collision warning, and lane departure warning. Heating for the front seats is standard, but no seat ventilation.
Overall Driving Feel
The 2016 Toyota Mirai’s unique components, especially its Powertrain, makes most of the car’s overall weight be mounted on the lower chassis. This gives the Mirai a road-hugging driving experience and feel, especially when it comes to curves. The Mirai’s driving experience is perfect, even if the system that control the electric steering is on or off-center, providing a very reassuring driving feel added with a very natural response. Its regenerative brakes perform well and evasive driving moves can be achieved with ease.
Ready for the Public
Environment warriors, previous and current Electric Vehicle owners, and potential buyers that want to jump on the fuel cell powered vehicle bandwagon will certainly love the 2016 Toyota Mirai. It drives smoothly, seamlessly, and effortless. The impressive power added with a faint electric motor whine as the speed gathers will surely impress any driver. The Mirai’s Sport Mode can also make a big difference when it comes to its responsiveness, making it a more exciting ride.
Categories: Production Cars