Brand-new model names don’t come along that often, but Toyota has one for 2016. It’s no mild-mannered member of the Toyota tribe, either. Glance quickly at the Mirai, and you might suddenly start to wonder if some wild men and women took over the company’s design studio. From the front, in particular, the Mirai brandishes a countenance that struts beyond bold and aggressive, into the realm of audacious, if not combative. Unique appearance makes perfect sense, however, because the Mirai is something special: a full-fledged fuel-cell vehicle, powered by hydrogen, in the form of a four-door sedan.
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2016 Toyota Mirai Overview
What's New for 2016
The four-passenger Mirai is a brand-new model for 2016. For years, fuel cells have been part of experimental work and future production plans for many automakers, but only a handful have actually made such vehicles available to the public. “Mirai” means “future” in Japanese, making the model name especially appropriate for a fuel-cell vehicle.
Choosing Your Toyota Mirai
Rated as a zero-emissions vehicle in California, the Mirai has an estimated range of 312 miles before refueling with hydrogen is needed. That procedure takes about five minutes, according to Toyota, once you’ve arrived at a refueling center.
Total power output from the electric motor is 151 horsepower, with 247 pound-feet of torque and a rating of 114 kW. A nickel metal hydride battery is used to power the motor, while two carbon fiber-reinforced tanks contain the hydrogen needed for operation of the system. Toyota says acceleration to 60 mph takes a leisurely 9 seconds, but nobody is buying a Mirai on the basis of its response to the accelerator pedal.
Aerodynamic design resulted in a drag coefficient (a measure of slipperiness through the air) of 0.29, which isn’t as slippery as Toyota’s Prius at 0.25.
Standard features include power heated front seats, a heated power tilt/telescopic steering wheel, and JBL premium audio with navigation. LED headlights have automatic high beams, and LED daytime running lights are installed. Heated outside mirrors have a power-folding feature. Alloy wheels hold 17-inch tires. Standard safety features include a pre-collision system, rearview camera, lane-departure alert, blind-spot monitor, and adaptive cruise control.
Looking to be the first one on your block to have a fuel-cell car in the driveway? For $57,500, Toyota has one to sell you, or lease to you. Incentives will be available, too. If you’re worried about refueling, Toyota is providing complementary fuel for the first three years. Don’t expect to find it at your nearest service station, but Toyota support folks should be eager to keep you posted on availability in various regions.