2021 Toyota Mirai
When Toyota presented the Mirai to the U.S. in late 2015, it featured a pledge from what was then the biggest carmaker worldwide: Hydrogen fuel cells were the future, said Toyota. The name itself even suggests “future” in Japanese. Now that future is more clearly specified in the 2021 Mirai, one that rather actually looks much better than ever previously.
2021 Toyota Mirai Changes
The most significant change in the completely revamped Mirai is obvious: It no longer looks like a Toyota Corolla that’s been beaten with an ugly stick. The 2021 Mirai has grown up, finishing to a much bigger, front-engine, rear-drive platform. This provides the car the long and low percentages of something like an Audi A7 or Mercedes CLS and permits a center seat in the rear, making the Mirai a 5-seater for the very first time. While Toyota would not state exactly where the underpinnings originate from, it’s clear that the new Mirai has more than a little Lexus in it.
2021 Toyota Mirai Interior
The interior gets a comparable overhaul, with a 12.3-inch touchscreen and a more standard dashboard layout. The center cockpit console from the Prius is now gone, replaced by a driver-centric cockpit design with a more horizontal layout to the controls. The rest of the interior seems as premium as in any Toyota.
As the styling goes from outright to classy, so too will the Mirai’s efficiency improve. Toyota says the new car will see its range extended by 30 percent, from the 312 miles of the current car. Better aerodynamics and increased hydrogen storage capability will play a part, but the Mirai’s powertrain hardware will also get upgrades.
Second-generation fuel cell
A new, second-generation fuel cell stack will make more power, and additional advancement of the parts shared with Toyota’s legion of hybrids (the battery, electric motor-generator, and power control unit) will translate to enhanced performance. Toyota officials also said that driving performance was a key factor to consider for the new Mirai, which will provide 20-inch wheels and tires, a huge upgrade from the current car’s 17-inches.
2021 Toyota Mirai Price
The Mirai was the very first fuel cell electric vehicle that any carmaker would let you buy instead of lease. Yet with a sticker price just under $60,000 and sweetheart lease deals that cover trips to the fueling station, almost all Mirai drivers have picked to rent. Presently, the Mirai lease is $2,499 upfront, plus $389 each month for 36 months, which includes three years or $15,000 of hydrogen fuel. Expect that to increase for the second generation, commensurate with Toyota’s positioning the new Mirai as a flagship for the brand name.
Of the approximately 6,000 Mirai units Toyota has offered or rented (all in California, the only state with adequate hydrogen refueling facilities to support fuel cell electric vehicles), more than 99-percent have been rented, according to the manufacturer. If that reflects the science project nature of this nascent technology or simply Toyota’s usually pragmatic consumer base, it stays to be seen.
International sales target of 30,000 annually
The goals for Toyota’s second-generation Mirai are lofty regardless. The new model is targeting global annual sales of 30,000, a huge increase considering Toyota has developed just 10,000 of the Mirai so far. While the company states it would like to use the new Mirai outside of California, particularly in the Northeast, in the meantime, it is still waiting on the resolution of regulative concerns surrounding operating hydrogen-fueled vehicles on bridges and in tunnels.
Toyota will be exposing more information about the car and its sales plans closer to the new Mirai’s late-2020 on-sale date.