All-new Toyota Mirai fuel cell electric has range of 402 miles

(December 20, 2020) NEWPORT COAST, Calif.  — Beauty, technology and a hint of the future come together in Toyota’s new flagship sedan, the all-new 2021 Mirai. The 2016-2020 Mirai was the first production fuel-cell electric vehicle (FCEV) offered for sale to retail customers in North America. Now, for 2021, Toyota has fully rebooted the Mirai as a premium rear-wheel drive sports-luxury FCEV with striking design, cutting-edge technology, more engaging driving performance and a significantly longer EPA-estimated range rating.

The model name, which means future in Japanese, is wholly appropriate, as the 2021 Mirai is powered by the latest evolution of the brand’s advanced fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) powertrain. The new Mirai is one part of an electrification strategy that also includes Toyota’s current and future hybrids and upcoming battery electric vehicles (BEVs). Toyota put the auto industry on the road to modern electrification in 1997 with the first Prius hybrid and today remains the global leader in gas/electric hybrid sales.

Built on the rear-wheel drive GA-L platform that also underpins the larger Lexus LS sedan, the 2021 Toyota Mirai makes a major design departure from the front-wheel drive first-generation version. The body is lower, longer, and wider, with its bolder stance accentuated by standard 19-inch alloy wheels.

A more powerful fuel cell system provides a more engaging driving experience than its pioneering forerunner. The rear-wheel drive layout and four-wheel independent suspension deliver a true sports-luxury sedan driving feel, with greater handling agility than before, yet also with a more comfortable ride. The RWD layout also allowed for increased hydrogen storage to boost EPA-estimated range to 402 miles (Mirai XLE grade), a 30 percent increase over the first-generation Mirai.

The new Mirai’s clean, modern profile was inspired by coupes, yet the new design is also more practical than before. Improved use of space enables a five-seat cabin versus the four-seat layout in the first-generation Mirai. The new Mirai’s interior matches the elegant tone of the exterior.

The 2021 Mirai features more advanced user and safety tech, including Toyota Safety Sense 2.5+. This latest generation of Toyota’s driver-assist technology suite includes Full Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, automatic emergency braking, and Lane Keep Assist. In addition, Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert is standard on the 2021 Mirai.

The switch to a rear-wheel drive platform delivers a “twofer” in the 2021 Mirai. The new layout facilitates the coupe-like proportions and bolder stance. At the same time, the new platform allowed for a roomier cabin with more usable space on the inside and in the trunk. The result is neither “form follows function” nor the opposite; it is perhaps better described as “form marries function,” and it’s a beautiful marriage, indeed.

The 2021 Mirai conveys a sense of motion with a classic GT car stance (long-hood, sweeping roofline, short rear deck), rendered in a practical four-door sedan package. The cabin silhouette flows rearward with flush, smooth side surfaces, accented by a dynamic sculpted rocker area with a kickup near the rear wheel.

The body tapers to the rear and blends into an integrated rear spoiler. The effect is that of a single metal form sculpted into a bold shape. The Limited grade is equipped with an exclusive dual-panel panorama roof, which features fixed glass panels and a power sunshade.

The “function” aspect of Mirai manifests in a larger body with more passenger room. Wheelbase, height, length and width are all increased over the first-generation Mirai. Weight increases by just 176 pounds., yet weight distribution improves to near 50:50, and the center of gravity is lower to significantly enhance handling agility.

The 2021 Mirai introduces a new lighting signature for a Toyota sedan, with long, narrow headlights that sweep rearward into the fenders. Both grades are equipped with auto-leveling bi-beam LED headlights, multi-LED front and rear turn signal indicators, Daytime Running Lights (DRL), and clearance lights. The LED side marker lamps are etched with the Mirai logo.

At the rear, a thin LED taillight panel spans the car’s width, tapered in the center, and creates a unique nighttime signature with three distinct gradation lines. Color-keyed heated power-folding outside mirrors feature turn signal indicators, defrosters, blind spot warning, and puddle lights.

As much as the new Mirai design catches the eye and tugs at the heart, it is bound to cheat … the wind, that is. The super-low 0.29 coefficient of drag owes not only to the body’s shape, but also to details such as optimized airflow through the wheel wells, a flat full undercover, aero stabilizing fins at the front edge of the side windows and windshield wipers that retract to a lower position when not in use.

The wipers show the kind of detail Toyota infused to raise comfort and convenience to a higher level in the Mirai. They feature direct-spray washer fluid arms, and, when in use, operate more quietly thanks to slower speed at the reversing point.

The Mirai XLE grade rides on standard 19-inch five-twin-spoke aerodynamic wheels, with the Limited grade distinguished by black machined-finished versions. The Limited also offers optional 20-inch Super Chrome alloy wheels.

The Mirai’s clean, modern layout is infused with a hint of luxury. The cabin embraces occupants in comfort and understated elegance while making cutting-edge multimedia tech easily accessible.

The concept starts with more interior room than the first-gen Mirai, with clever design that further heightens the feeling of spaciousness. The dash panel appears as a single sculptural form, seamlessly integrating all controls, displays and ventilation. The dash is nearly 3 inches wider than in the first-gen Mirai and is also angled more steeply (28.4 degrees vs. 32.7 degrees), enhancing the feeling of spaciousness.

As on Toyota’s GR Supra sports car, the Mirai’s dash design flows into the door panels to wrap the driver and passenger, and the driver section is further defined by a console that’s more enclosing on that side. The console armrest is a significant 3.7 in. wider and 2.3 in. longer than in the first Mirai.

Toyota will offer the 2021 Mirai in two grades, XLE and Limited, rather than only a top-of-line mono-spec version as with the first-generation model. The new strategy will make the Mirai accessible to a wider market.

The starting  price of $49,500 is more than $9,000 less than the outgoing vehicle. And up to $15,000 of hydrogen fuel is included in the purchase of lease.