Toyota Mirai 2021 – Review, Specs, Photos

The anticipation of the 2021 Toyota Mirai is all the rage. Like you, other Playa Vista drivers are wondering about its release date. It may surprise you that the Mirai was not the first hydrogen fuel cell vehicle. It was, however, the first FCEV available to buy in bulk. Since the first-generation model, more hydrogen fueling stations are accessible everywhere. News that makes the Mirai a contender in its class. Let’s take a look at what the newest Toyota brings to Santa Monica roads. As we said, Toyota was not the first FCEV in its class. Honda took that spot in small quantities with the FCX and FCX Clarity. Toyota was the first to release the Mirai with the launch of 10,000 vehicles. More drivers were able to experience the Mirai than that of its competitors. The Mirai has become a trailblazer and ready to make its second debut with new changes. Full review and all information about the car – 2021 Toyota Mirai.

New Toyota Mirai 2021

If you keep score of your green points and absolutely love to talk about your car to total strangers, the 2021 Toyota Mirai should be on your short list. A hydrogen-powered electric vehicle, the Mirai is sort of a rolling science experiment that you can buy — provided you live in the states of California or Hawaii. Those are the only states with enough of a hydrogen fueling infrastructure to keep you rolling. All of the Mirai’s futuristic technology is wrapped in styling that’s, well, unusual-looking. But the driving experience is one that electric car owners will be familiar with. It’s not fast, but it is smooth and plenty comfortable even after hours of rush-hour traffic. Not a lot of other manufacturers are tackling fuel cell vehicles on this scale. Honda’s Clarity sedan is the Mirai’s closest competitor. Hyundai, for its part, has recently introduced its Nexo SUV. Compared to the Mirai and Clarity, the Nexo offers a longer range and more traditional styling both inside and out. It’s also worth knowing that Toyota is introducing an all-new Mirai for the 2021 model year that’s sleeker-looking and promises more than 400 miles of range. Toyota Mirai 2021 – photos colors and price in this article!

Interior

The old Mirai’s interior didn’t live up to our expectations. It had all the modern features you would hope for, but with a price tag of nearly $60,000 its materials and finishes should have been richer. The 2021 Mirai sees a redesign on the outside, and it’s expected that change will sweep across the interior as well, as Toyota has stated that they would like to make the second generation Mirai a more luxurious car. Touchscreens will likely dominate the dashboard, just as they did in the outgoing model, giving the interior a thoroughly modern look. Toyota Mirai 2021 – see the photo in the gallery on our website.

Exterior

The answer is something far more attractive than the current Mirai—in the form of the radically different 2021 Toyota Mirai sporty sedan that made its debut in concept form at last October’s Tokyo Motor Show Toyota still hasn’t to this day provided dimensions or specs for the production Mirai, But at the LA show in November, we caught up with Tanaka, and he gave us exterior dimensions from the top of his head for the production version. They’re all within 10 mm of what was noted in Toyota’s concept release. He also hinted that the production model will look just as good. At 195.6 inches long by 74.5 inches wide, and riding on a 115.0-inch wheelbase, the Mirai has a substantially larger footprint than the outgoing car (several inches larger in all of those). But at 53.9 inches high, it’s 2.6 inches lower than the current car. Early information from the automaker was short on actual technical information, too, but Tanaka gave us a better idea of the Mirai’s layout. The motor is at the back of the car, so they needed to find a new place for what was back there, explained Tanaka, who also hinted that the fuel-cell stack isn’t where it was in the outgoing generation (in the middle of the vehicle, between the driver and passenger). And to make the hydrogen capacity any larger at the rear of the car would have meant sacrificing more usable space.

Colors

The arrival of the 2021 Mirai will say goodbye to the Prius-like front-wheel-drive platform. Instead, it will have a new, larger rear-wheel-drive. The RWD will be three inches long, and its wheelbase will be five inches wider. The Mirai’s platform will increase a bit, making it more comparable to that of the Avalon. It will also have a sleeker profile and face integration that connects to other Toyota designs. All without compromising the cooling needs of the fuel cell. Technical development is pending, except for a 30% increase in the fuel cell system and hydrogen capacity. The 2021 Toyota Mirai will be more powerful and fuel-efficient. The 2021 model has an EPA of 312 miles, whereas the newest Mirai will have 400 miles. An additional 88 miles of adventures!

Fuel economy

EPA estimates for the previous generation Toyota Mirai are 67 MPGe for both city and highway driving, and the 2021 model should improve on those numbers. According to Toyota, the estimated range for the 2021 Mirai is more than 400 miles, a distance roughly comparable to how far most gas-powered vehicles can travel on a tank of fuel. The Honda Clarity returns similar EPA estimates in city and highway driving at 68 and 67 MPGe, respectively. The more frugal of the two Nexo models comes in at 65 MPGe city, 58 MPGe highway.

Horsepower

The front-wheel-drive Mirai is powered by a 153-horsepower electric motor, with energy fed to it through the hydrogen fuel-cell “stack,” buffered through a modest battery that also helps recover energy when braking or decelerating, like a hybrid. You won’t find particularly quick acceleration or engaging handling in the Mirai, but those really weren’t the priorities here—clean, emissions-free motoring was definitely the first aim. Much like earlier electric cars, the Mirai feels at its perkiest up to 30 mph or so. It’s in its element in the city, where it feels easy to maneuver. Steering is rather light, but Toyota’s expertise in tuning hybrid systems pays off here with a smooth, predictable brake pedal.

Technical specifications

One of the most significant changes for the 2021 Mirai is its move to a rear-wheel-drive platform from a front-wheel-drive one. According to the automaker, the switch allowed designers to make a sedan that is longer, lower, and wider than the outgoing model, and stronger, too. Twenty-inch wheels are standard. Toyota says coupes inspired the look of the new Mirai sedan while the stunning 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. 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.

Price

Mirai: $64,000 (est); The current Mirai is only available in one trim level and we expect that to carry over for 2021. As it stands, the Mirai comes well equipped. Standard interior features will likely include heated and power-adjustable seats, keyless entry and ignition, faux-leather upholstery, a heated steering wheel, and a tilt-and-telescoping steering column. A possible deterrent from owning a Mirai or other fuel-cell vehicle is price. The 2021 model carried a base price of $59,455, but that included $15,000 worth of fuel. We expect the 2021 model to carry a similar fuel allowance but have a higher base price due to the new styling, increased range, and change in driven wheels.

Safety

Since the 2021 Mirai isn’t out yet, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) haven’t performed crash tests or listed a safety rating. For drivers who worry about the safety of driving a hydrogen-powered vehicle, the previous generation Mirai already had plenty of safety measures to prevent any Hindenburg-like accident. The fuel tank where the hydrogen is stored is constructed of super-strong carbon fiber and sensors connected to the tanks can detect collisions and will stop the flow of hydrogen in the case of an accident. We expect that the 2021 Mirai will inherit these features from its predecessor. Like most of the rest of the Toyota lineup, the Mirai will offer a standard suite of driver-assistance features. Key safety features include: Standard automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection; Standard lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist; Standard adaptive cruise control.

Motors

The Toyota Mirai is powered by what’s called a fuel-cell electric powertrain, meaning that hydrogen (which could actually come from cow manure, among other sources) is converted into electricity by the on-board fuel cell—essentially a chemical laboratory on wheels. Fuel cells create electricity by stripping electrons from hydrogen atoms; the hydrogen then bonds to oxygen to create water, while the electrons power the electric motor. The result is an electric vehicle that is fueled with hydrogen from a pump rather than electrons drawn from the nation’s electrical power grid. The electric motor powering the previous generation Mirai produces 151 horsepower and 247 lb-ft of torque, all of which is sent through a one-speed direct-drive transmission to the front wheels, resulting in a sluggish zero-to-60 time of 8.9 seconds. The Mirai is not remotely sporty, but it is comfortable to drive around town. We hope that more power and the switch to a rear-wheel-drive setup in the 2021 model bring Toyota’s promise of a newfound emphasis on performance to fruition.

Configurations

That leaves one logical combination for the production Mirai: the fuel-cell stack at the front of the car, as in the current Clarity Fuel Cell, but with the hydrogen stored along what would be the “drive tunnel” of a rear-wheel-drive car. Although the rear-wheel-drive layout helps driving dynamics, Tanaka says that it was essential to getting the proportions right. Toyota hasn’t yet released specs for the next-generation fuel cell, but it has boasted of a 30-percent gain in range. Tanaka wouldn’t discuss power yet, of the stack or of the Mirai’s propulsion system, but described it as “substantially improved,” and emphasized that driving the new car and experiencing the difference will give a better idea of how far performance has advanced. BMW will share Toyota’s next-generation fuel-cell stack, for use in its i Hydrogen Next fuel cell vehicle, coming as soon as 2022, but Tanaka confirmed that BMW had no input in the Mirai or its new layout. Exceeding the current car’s 312-mile rated range was one of the initial aims, but Tanaka said that eventually the team raised its goal to over 400 miles for “the wow factor.” It’s a bigger car with a longer range, so even though the next-generation fuel-cell stack that’s on board gets more efficient, it needs more hydrogen, so the new Mirai is a little bit heavier than the current car’s 4,075 pounds.

Review

Fuel-cell vehicles like the 2021 Toyota Mirai use the lightest and most abundant element in the universe essentially as a clean fuel for producing electricity at the vehicle—by harnessing a reaction with air. While that sounds like nirvana, the Mirai isn’t free of emissions and carbon impact. It takes energy to produce the hydrogen and pressurize it to a level (70 MPa) that can be stored away in sensibly sized tanks. Most of that comes from natural gas at present. It all sounds a bit like a science experiment. There are some vehicles—the Hyundai Nexo is the most noteworthy—that buck that impression entirely, but the current Toyota Mirai, which has been on sale since the 2016 model year, tends to look like at least one of its parents was a mad scientist. It earns a 5.4 overall here, with its clean powertrain and good standard equipment offsetting its hard-to-stomach styling and unremarkable performance.

Release date

Hydrogen is stored at the same 70 MPa as in the current car (and other rival fuel-cell models from Hyundai and Honda). Moving to a higher storage pressure for the hydrogen would add much higher energy demands to the fueling process, with the evaporative properties getting in the way, Tanaka explained, sketching out the curve and pointing to the “sweet spot.” Why doesn’t the Mirai add a battery pack, for extra range and for when it can’t quite make it to the closest fuel-cell station? “We get that question a lot in Japan about the battery pack,” said Tanaka. “The reason is, in order to improve the hydrogen infrastructure you need to use and consume it—so if you make it chargeable at home, then those people won’t consume the hydrogen.”For now, it’s a matter of establishing the infrastructure and creating a demand for that infrastructure, he clarified. As for whether Toyota might be thinking about an entire family of Mirai models, as it considered with the outgoing model, Tanaka said that it depends on the success of this one. Toyota’s approach to put up walls between its hydrogen, hybrid, and electric vehicle solutions might not be the best for any of them—but that’s a debate for another time and place. This Mirai is intended for the U.S., Japan, and Europe, although the development team did some testing in the UAE, Australia, and China. It will go into production in 2021, with first deliveries by the end of the year. And if it drives anything close to as great as it looks, Toyota will have a very different proposition this time around.

Video

The Mirai is produced in very small numbers, and so it hasn’t been a priority for testing by either of the U.S. safety agencies. But since the Mirai is a technology flagship for all of Toyota, you can assume that the automaker took safety seriously with its engineering. Feature-wise, the Mirai includes automatic emergency braking, active lane control, and blind-spot monitors. The 2021 Mirai is offered in small numbers, in specific areas of Northern and Southern California, plus Hawaii, that are deemed close enough to hydrogen fueling stations. Which leads to another important point: While high-pressure fills of hydrogen take much less time than fast-charging an electric vehicle, if your local hydrogen stations have downtime there really is no backup plan. That was proven this past year when an explosion at a hydrogen production facility in Santa Clara put a pinch on some Northern California stations for months.

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