Far from being the typical car you see in a motorsport event, the Toyota Mirai took part in a hill climb speed trial.
With only 155 horsepower (114 kilowatts), the hydrogen Mirai certainly wasn’t developed to complete quick laps around the track. Nevertheless, Toyota believes the fuel cell sedan made “motorsport history” last weekend. Journalist David Finlay drove a mirror chrome-wrapped Mirai at the Gurston Down Speed Hill Climb and managed to complete the 0.6-mile course in 44.44 seconds at a more than decent average speed of 62.5 mph (100.5 kph).
Meanwhile in Monaco, His Serene Highness Prince Albert II got behind the wheel of a Mirai to do a lap of honor around the famous Monte Carlo circuit before the 2016 F1 Grand Prix. He wanted to send out a message about how Monaco wants to serve as a “pioneer of sustainable mobility” which is why the hydrogen Mirai was the vehicle of choice since only water comes out from its tailpipe.
Launched last year, the Mirai can provide a maximum range of approximately 300 miles (483 kilometers) which is not half bad. Once the two high-pressure hydrogen tanks are depleted, refilling them to a 100% level is going to take three to five minutes, so it’s just about the same as with a conventionally-powered car.
It’s pretty much safe to say Toyota’s eco-friendly sedan has a rather controversial design, just like its main rival, Honda’s all-new 2017 Clarity Fuel Cell. It remains to be seen whether the unusual styling will have have a negative impact on sales of the two hydrogen cars.
Gallery: Toyota Mirai hydrogen car enters rural UK hill climb
TOYOTA MIRAI MAKES MOTORSPORT HISTORY
- Toyota’s hydrogen fuel cell saloon makes its first motorsport appearances
- Prince Albert II drives a lap of honour in a Mirai to officially open the Monaco Grand Prix
- Mirai makes its UK motorsport debut, competing at the Gurston Down Speed Hill Climb
From Formula One’s most glamorous occasion to a rural British hill climb meeting, Mirai was demonstrating the qualities of Toyota’s hydrogen fuel cell technology in contrasting international and domestic motorsport arenas at the weekend.
On Sunday, His Serene Highness Prince Albert drove a Mirai on a lap of honour around the Monte Carlo circuit to officially open the Monaco Grand Prix.
By choosing Mirai, the world’s first production fuel cell saloon, for this high-profile appearance, the prince reiterated his intention to make Monaco a pioneer of sustainable mobility.
Meanwhile at Gurston Down in Wiltshire, Mirai made its UK motorsport debut, striking a contrast as one of the world’s most advanced vehicles, competing in one of the sport’s oldest and most traditional formats – a hill climb speed trial. Driven by journalist David Finlay and sporting a one-off mirror-chrome full body wrap, it recorded a best time of 44.44 seconds over the 0.6-mile course, at an average speed of 62.5mph.
At both events, Mirai ran whisper-quiet and produced no tailpipe emissions other than water from its hydrogen fuel cell system. Introduced in selected European markets, including the UK, in the second half of 2015, Mirai is a pathfinder for the use hydrogen fuel in a vehicle that offers the same levels of convenience and practicality as a conventional petrol or diesel car – a range of around 300 miles and refuelling time of between three and five minutes.