Wait a minute... that's the new Mirai!?
If you forgot that the Toyota Mirai exists, don't worry, you probably aren't alone. That's because the Mirai is a fuel cell car, meaning it is only sold in markets like California that have hydrogen filling stations available to the public. Another reason why you may have overlooked the Mirai is that although it comes packing innovative technology, it comes in a body that looks, more or less, like a Prius.
But if recent Prius sales numbers have shown Toyota anything, it is that buyers now want their amazing fuel-saving technology to come in a more handsome package. It seems like Toyota has learned this lesson because the Japanese automaker has just revealed the next-generation 2021 Mirai - and it is a stunner.
Toyota has completely ditched the Prius-like styling for a completely new look. It now has more in common with the Lexus LS 500 than any other vehicle in the Toyota lineup. Gone are the frumpy economy-minded lines in favor of what Toyota calls a "dramatic yet refined coupe-inspired design."
Not only does this new Mirai look worlds better than the car it replaces, but it should also be much nicer to drive as well. That's because it is based on Toyota's new premium rear-wheel-drive platform, which allows for a body that is lower, longer, and wider. It will also be available with 20-inch wheels and a lovely new shade of blue to further improve the curb appeal.
"We have pursued making a car that customers feel like driving all the time, a car that has emotional and attractive design appeal, as well as dynamic and responsive driving performance that can bring a smile to the faces of drivers," said Yoshikazu Tanaka, Chief Engineer of the Mirai. "I want customers to say, 'I chose the Mirai not because it's an FCEV, but because I really wanted this car, and it just happened to be an FCEV.'"
Inside, Toyota has gone with a futuristic and luxurious approach. A Toyota Premium Multimedia system comes standard and uses a 12.3-inch high-resolution touchscreen with navigation and a 14-speaker JBL sound system. Just like the outgoing Mirai, the new car is fueled using compressed hydrogen rather than gasoline and the only emission out of the tailpipe is water.
Toyota didn't quote any performance figures but says it is targeting a 30 percent increase in range. The old Mirai could travel 312 miles on a tank of hydrogen, so this new car should theoretically travel over 405 miles on a tank. Toyota also says this new model will offer a "more powerful, engaging, and even quieter driving experience," so we should expect to see more than the 151 horsepower found in its predecessor. The second-gen Mirai will go on sale in late 2020 with pricing revealed sooner to the on-sale date.