Toyota is so confident in its new-age, hydrogen-sipping Toyota Corolla Hatchback, it is entering it in the 2021 Super Taikyu 24 Hour Endurance Series on May 21-23, SlashGear.com reported.
And no, we’re not talking about the current technology in the Toyota Mirai, which is a hydrogen-electric car or FCEV (fuel-cell electric vehicle).
It uses hydrogen fuel to convert electricity and power an onboard electric motor.
This time, the Japanese auto giant came up with something entirely different — imagine a high-tech, green racing engine that sounds and feels awesome!
“At the end of last year, we built a prototype that provided that ‘car feeling’ that car lovers love, such as through sound and vibration, even though we were dealing with environmental technology, said Koji Sato, Chief Branding Officer, and Gazoo Racing Company President.
“It was only recently that I realized, as one thing led to another, that we could use technologies that we had on hand.”
The car in the attached video is a Corolla Hatchback fitted with a hydrogen-sipping internal combustion engine, complete with cylinders, pistons, and valves, the report said.
It also has an All-Wheel-Drive system from the Toyota GR Yaris hot hatch.
Based on its exhilarating exhaust sound, you wouldn’t think that hydrogen is at play here, but it is. It not only sounds fantastic, but the exhaust bark is no different from a tuned gas-powered vehicle.
Toyota says the fuel burned in the turbocharged inline-three is 100% hydrogen with zero gasoline content. As a result, Toyota’s hydrogen engine emits nearly no CO2, the report said.
However, the car produces a certain amount of noxious gasses as the engine burns hydrogen and oxygen from the air.
It’s not a zero-emissions vehicle like an all-electric vehicle (EV) or FCEV, but it significantly emits less toxic substances than a pure gasoline car.
Race fans also take note: Toyota adds that the hydrogen engine might be more responsive, due to the faster combustion of hydrogen fuel, the report said.
“Toyota has hydrogen-related environmental technology cultivated through the Mirai. It also has safety technology developed through the Yaris WRC,” said Akio Toyoda, CEO and President of Toyota Motor Corp.
“Thinking, as a member of the automobile industry, that it was important for motorsports to create a place where everyone could enjoy themselves even in a carbon-neutral era, I decided we should go with a hydrogen engine.”
Since Toyota’s race car is the only entry at the Super Taikyu 24 Hour Endurance race with a hydrogen-burning internal combustion engine, the team led by racing driver Hiroaki Ishiura was given some track time to put the car through its paces.
Super Taikyu has been a staple of the country’s motorsports diet since the early 1990s, growing alongside its booming tuner industry, the report said.
Fuel to power the car will be generated at the Fukushima Hydrogen Energy Research Field in Namie, Fukushima Prefecture.
The facility produces hydrogen via a large solar panel array, so all the fuel will be made from renewable sources.
Sources: SlashGear.com, AutoBlog.com