Toyota has unveiled a concept car showcasing its experimental hydrogen-powered combustion engine technology in a GR Yaris.
The hydrogen fuel, fuel tanks and refuelling process of the experimental vehicle are the same as found in the Mirai, Toyota’s commercially available flagship fuel cell electric vehicle.
However, while the Mirai employs chemical reaction in the fuel cells to generate energy, the experimental GR Yaris features an internal combustion engine with hydrogen as the fuel.
While the hydrogen combustion engine technology is still in the early stages of conceptual development and experimentation, which started in 2017 and not yet ready for commercialisation, Toyota’s experimental hydrogen-powered Corolla Sport is already delivering high performance at motorsport events in Japan with almost zero tailpipe emissions.
The hydrogen-powered experimental GR Yaris and the Corolla Sport both feature the same G16E-GTS, 1.6-litre, in-line 3-cylinder, turbocharged engine that is found in the GR Yaris, but with a modified fuel supply and injection system for use with hydrogen as fuel.
The hydrogen-powered Corolla Sport has already been competing in the Super Taikyu race series in Japan since May this year as part of the Toyota Racing team to test the experimental hydrogen combustion engine.
Toyota said: “Hydrogen combusts at a faster rate than petrol, resulting in good responsiveness whilst delivering excellent environmental performance. In addition to being extremely clean, hydrogen combustion has the added potential to relay a fun to drive experience with the acoustic and sensory sensations that characterise internal combustion engines.”
Akio Toyoda, president of Toyota Motor Corporation, commented: “We’ve taken the first step to compete with and develop our hydrogen-powered engine with the mindset of taking on the challenge. I imagine things will look a little different 10 years from now, and I hope people will look back and see how we took on the challenge with positivity and enjoyed every moment of it.”