Monday, December 15, 2014

Toyota MIRAI (JPD10)

The year 2014 brought us one of the most important cars in history since when it first made and here it is. Meet the MIRAI. The Toyota MIRAI to be more exact and it's probably just another four-door Toyota but don't be alarmed.

2015 Toyota MIRAI

Judging by the way it looks, the MIRAI kinda really looks like an ordinary car and it's like driving a Toyota for normality reasons. Although this is a normal car, the MIRAI, true to its name, proves that the future is now thanks to science and thanks to science, the MIRAI is the brand's first hydrogen fuel cell vehicle.

In the past, carmakers like Honda and BMW first introduced fuel-cell vehicles but their FCVs were only available for lease. For the MIRAI, this is the first ever FCV to be available for sale to the motoring public. They can purchase one now at their nearest Toyota or Toyopet showrooms all over Japan but the pricing starts at 7,236,000 Japanese Yen. However, first-time buyers won't need to worry because the Japanese government will subsidize 2,252,900 Yen so it's now priced at 4,983,100 Yen or under $50,000.

2015 Toyota MIRAI interior

2015 Toyota MIRAI interior

Get ready because it's going to be one heck of a science lesson right about how the MIRAI works as an FCV for the selected masses.

Because hydrogen is highly flammable, the MIRAI stores its hydrogen in two hydrogen tanks made of CFRP and fiberglass-reinforced plastic layer for the outer shell. These two hydrogen tanks can store a combined 122.4L of fuel or 5kg of hydrogen. It's capable of doing 650km of driving range. That sounds plenty although actual driving mileage can vary.

The hydrogen fuel that powers the MIRAI is measured in kilograms and one kilogram of hydrogen costs 1,100 Yen and filling up takes three minutes or so. Although hydrogen has the same price as petrol, it will never run out because hydrogen is one of the most abundant chemical substance in the universe.

Mind you, if you're going to refuel it with hydrogen at your nearest hydrogen-filling station, it's just like filling your car with petrol and the only difference is because this is under pressure and you'll have to lock it with the lever. This is important stuff because if you don't, you'll be spilling hydrogen on the floor. Yes, we heard that lecture from someone but take serious precaution because you might think that hydrogen really is water but not all hydrogens are created equal.

Unlike petrol-powered cars that emits smoke for some reasons, the only emission from the Toyota MIRAI is water but some say, it's safer than drinking milk so...who wouldn't dare to drink water out of it but for the love of all things holy, don't. I wouldn't mind drinking water out from that car because...it's like tap water to us so I'm not very sure if it's safe to drink one out from the MIRAI's emission.

2015 Toyota MIRAI

Performance-wise, the MIRAI is not bad for a family car with four-doors and four seats. I mean, this saloon develops 155PS of power, which is more than what you get from the lease-only Honda FCX Clarity, and its top speed is about 175kph so it's not half bad. Although I'm not going to pretend that it's a lot fun to drive than any other petrol-powered saloon but it feels like a sport saloon as I corner one through the bends.

The MIRAI may be an awful car to look at but as one suggests, it's a clever car that will save your weekend cars, much like when the car is invented to save the horses. That's logic stuff because when horses got rode by humans, they're starting to feel the exhaustion and the pain but when the car came in, they're free to do whatever they want. The same thing happen with petrol-powered cars and with this fuel-cell car, looks like those amazing gas-guzzlers will have their lives prolonged for a while.

I believe that the new Toyota MIRAI is now one of the most important cars for a centennial and it really fits to the lifestyle we're facing now. Think about it, we have lots of memories going around with our own cars. We get in, drove it as far as we like, we fill it with petrol, and we kept going and going. That is the cycle of what a petrol-powered car does but when others are looking for a replacement, say electricity, it feels like we're reverting back to the stone age once again.

With this car, today's going to be a great day thanks to science.

Available colors: Two-Tone Pure Blue Metallic, Two-Tone White Pearl Crystal Shine, Two-Tone Precious Silver, Two-Tone Precious Black Pearl, Two-Tone Dark Red Mica Metallic, Two-Tone Dark Blue Mica.

Photo: Toyota Motor Corporation

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