Join Date: Apr 2011
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The Toyota Mirai may not be the prettiest product to debut in November, but it presents the potential for a brighter future with the promise of cleaner air and less dependence on oil.
Here’s how the Mirai works in a nutshell: there are two tanks under the rear passenger seats that can be filled with hydrogen gas. The gas is sent through something called a hydrogen fuel cell stack that mixes oxygen with the hydrogen. That creates a reaction that generates electricity to charge a small battery that feeds an electric motor powering the front wheels. The combination of hydrogen and oxygen creates pure water, which is purged periodically. The rate is about 100 cubic centimeters per mile of travel. For perspective, you would need to drive almost five miles to generate enough water to fill a pint glass.
Like an electric car, the Mirai offers smooth acceleration and instant torque. Its powertrain makes 153 hp and 247 lb-ft of torque, which is gives the Mirai a feeling of acceleration similar to pure electric cars. However, it tips the scales at over 4,000 lbs., which makes it feel boring but solid to drive. Steering is nicely weighted but like other Toyota models, very little feedback makes it from the road to your hands. Despite the disconnected steering, the Mirai has balanced handling because much of its weight is low and located near the center of the car.