The Toyota Mirai hasn’t been a looker since it first rolled into select dealerships four years ago. However, it appears Toyota is taking a mulligan. The Japanese automaker has revealed the 2021 Toyota Mirai, a stunning redesign of the company’s hydrogen-powered electric vehicle. It’s a remarkable difference in design, but that’s due to a lot of different changes made to the model.
New RWD drive train
One of the changes for the 2021 Mirai is its move to a rear-wheel-drive platform from a front-wheel-drive one. According to Toyota, the switch allowed designers to make a sedan that is longer, lower, and wider than its predecessor. Twenty-inch wheels are standard. Toyota says coupes inspired the look of the new Mirai while the blue comes from a multi-layer painting process.
Like the exterior, the 2021 Mirai’s interior sees a similar level of revitalization with a new design, high-quality materials. It’s a cleaner look that better fits the sedan’s sleek styling. The model also features an available digital rearview mirror, a 12.3-inch touchscreen display that includes navigation, and a 14-speaker JBL sound system.
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The Toyota Mirai Concept features a dynamic exterior design built on Toyota’s latest TNGA platform, The interior, equipped with a 12.3-inch widescreen on the centre console and instrument panel that embraces the driver, provides a simple, modern space to create a feeling of warmth and comfort. The fuel cell system configuration using the TNGA platform also allows for five seats instead of the current-generation Mirai’s four.
It will be presented in a newly developed exterior color (Force Blue Multiple Layers), that uses layers of color to achieve exceptional brightness and depth. The 2021 Mirai is a vast improvement in design, no question. And it runs with the torque of an electric car, but weighs less and takes far less time to refuel/recharge. On paper, it seems to have many advantages, or at least be competitive with a battery-electric out there.
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Better than electric?
Toyota’s fuel cell technology is clearly maturing, and for EV-buyers that don’t have access to a home charging setup, five-minute hydrogen refuelling is way more attractive than the available battery charging options. Now it’s a race to develop the refuelling infrastructure quickly enough to assuage buyer range anxieties so that production scale economies can bring fuel cell vehicle pricing down to where the general public can afford it. But when that happens, please, Toyota, don’t revert to hideous design.
So, yes, this new Mirai seems so much better than the old one. Will it move the needle in favour of hydrogen cars? That’s hard to believe, but it’s got a better shot than it did before.