Toyota Mirai

Using hydrogen fuel cell technology, the Mirai converts hydrogen to electricity, which is then used to power an electric motor. The motor is connected to the front wheels, where it sends its 153 horsepower to the ground. Like other cars powered by electric motors, the Mirai is extremely torquey, with 247 pound-feet available from a dead stop. While 153 horsepower is adequate for a car of this size, all that torque makes it feel quite sporty off the line.

The Mirai is smaller than Toyota's midsize Camry, but it's got plenty of upscale features to help justify its premium price point. The front seats are 8-way power adjustable and heated units, while the stereo is made by JBL. Navigation is included and is displayed through a large LCD screen housed in the dashboard. A smaller screen sits below, housing the controls for the climate control. Other features include a leather-wrapped, heated steering wheel, LED headlamps with an auto high-beam feature, LED fog lamps, dynamic, radar-guided cruise control, front and rear parking sensors, touch sensors on the door handles, 17" wheels and heated outside mirrors.

Toyota is taking safety seriously in the Mirai, particularly because of its relatively new and seldom-utilized fuel source. More common safety features such as air bags, traction control, stability control and anti-lock brakes are all present. However, Toyota has gone the extra mile by including a blind-spot monitoring system, a pre-collision system, a lane departure alert and Safety Connect, which will automatically call for help in an emergency. The hydrogen tanks are specially reinforced with carbon fiber and polymer linings built in a 3-layer structure. The tanks also include leak detection sensors and safety shut off valves, for an extra dose of safety.

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Editors' First Take

Take off the Toyota badges and slap a big ol' spindle grille on its nose, and this 2021 Mirai sedan could totally pass for a Lexus. Inside and out, the new Mirai has a level of style and refinement you wouldn't expect for a mass-market Toyota. And the Japanese automaker is hoping this premium focus will be enough to convince people to give hydrogen fuel-cell power a try.

"Mirai" means "future" in Japanese, which I guess is pretty appropriate, given the auto industry adage that not only is hydrogen the fuel of the future, it always will be. Indeed, with only about 50 filling stations in California (complete with somewhat spotty reliability), hydrogen as a fuel source makes a ton of sense on paper, but is still out of reach for most folks. Even so, Toyota remains steadfast that this futuristic future will futurize into fruition and the big investment into glowing-up the Mirai is proof of the automaker's commitment to hydrogen on a global scale.

For starters, just look at this thing. As far as the design is concerned, the Mirai went from worst to first like that (snaps fingers). Styling is subjective, natch, but I'm going to quantify this updo and say the 2021 Mirai is exactly 6,243% better looking than its predecessor, which was the ugliest car on the market. 

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