Surprise! Meet the all-new, second-gen 2021 Toyota Mirai. This is a clean slate redesign of Toyota's hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle and it looks beautiful.
Let's not pull punches: Thelooks like the unfortunate spawn of a and a Dustbuster. It has a face that only a mother could love. Then again, some of you may have never seen one in the flesh. Only about 6,000 examples were ever sold or leased in the US since it hit the road in October 2015 and all of those live in California and Hawaii, where America's limited public hydrogen infrastructure mostly lives.
The new Mirai is a complete departure. Rather than a compact front-driver, the second-gen model steps up to a significantly larger rear-wheel drive platform. I'm guessing this is some derivation of the/ 's underpinnings. The Mirai's new 195.8-inch length and 114.9-inch wheelbase are certainly in the right neighborhood.
The new look is probably one of the best Toyota-penned designs of recent memory with a wide, low stance and a profile that matches an elongated hood with the smooth arc of its coupe-like roofline. The horizontal grille is a bit large, but somehow is less offensive than the Avalon's big ol' mesh mouth, working well with the Mirai's dramatic nose deeply set headlamps and DRLs. Somehow, it all just comes together nicely.
Inside, we get more hints of the Mirai's LS roots with the most obvious hints being the massive 12.3-inch widescreen display and digital instrument cluster and high level of appointment. This interior looks like Lexus luxury, where the old model was just Prius weird. I'm told to expect the full suite of Toyota infotainment, safety and driver aid tech.
Of course, the Mirai is still a fuel cell electric vehicle. Details about the powertrain, performance and efficiency are slim for now, but we do know that the 2021 model will feature a new generation of Toyota's fuel cell that is more efficient than the current technology. The larger Mirai also just plain has more room for hydrogen storage capacity which Toyota hopes will increase the FCEV's cruising range by about 30%, which works out to about 400 miles between fill ups versus the current 312. Expect the larger, more premium Mirai to also be more powerful and quieter than the current-gen.
"We have pursued making ... 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, the Mirai's chief engineer. "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.'"
So far, the 2021 Toyota Mirai is looking pretty darn good, but looks are only part of the equation. We expect to learn more about how the the Mirai will perform when it makes a more formal debut at the Tokyo Motor Show in two weeks before going on sale in late 2020.