While “Back to the Future” film fans were preparing to celebrate the movie’s 30th anniversary, corporate bodies had other plans meant to capitalize on the craze. One such corporate organization was the automotive giant, Toyota. After showcasing their new hydrogen-cell Toyota Mirai in Japan, the automaker took advantage of the October 21st 2015 day to make noise about their invention.
Toyota didn’t stop there; the automaker took advantage of the 2015 SEMA show in Las Vegas held between November 3rd and 6th to showcase a heavily customized Mirai that looks like the DMC-12 which was used in the movie. Toyota even went a step further by involving Doc Brown and Marty McFLy, the two lead actors of the film in their own short rendition of the original film to promote the vehicle.
In the movie Doc Brown transformed a DeLorean DMC-12 sports car into a time machine powered by just about any trash (from empty beer cans to banana peels). The Mirai too runs on just about anything as the short film shows, from solar, wind to biogas from trash and animal waste.
The technology is part of Toyota’s plan to lower carbon emission by 90 percent by 2050. The Mirai leads the way; in fact, if you are driving across Nevada and you get very thirsty, you can just quench your thirst by taking a sip of the water it emits! Read along to find out more;
Toyota Back to the Future Mirai Exterior
The first thing that strikes you when you look at the Toyota Back to the Future Mirai is its huge size for a coupe. Actually, the vehicle is identical to the stock Mirai which is actually a sedan hence the strange size. Anyway, you will forget all that when its doors open. Just like the DMC-12, the Back to the Future Mirai is fitted with gullwing-style doors.
The vehicle runs on 19-inch wheels unlike the stock model which runs on 17-inch wheels. It also rides much low courtesy of its new air suspension. Another feature is the period-correct California license plate that screams “OUTATIME”, another reference to the movie. The exterior is also custom painted to resemble the DeLorean’s steel body.
Apart from that, the car is the same as the 4-door Toyota Mirai sedan.
Toyota Back to the Future Mirai Interior
Futuristic modifications on the cabin are not as extensive as on the outside. The interior is lit with Blue LEDs. The center console has been custom made to feature the obligatory flux capacitor which also emanates blue light.
The head display unit is replaced by a tablet mounted on the dash. The tablet replaces the time travel controls in the movie car. Other features remain similar to the stock model. They include; neoprene-look cloth upholstery, a heated tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, 8-way heated front seats with lumbar support, heated rear seats, a dual-zone climate control, cruise control, a navigation system featuring a hydrogen- fuel-station locator, Bluetooth and Smartphone connectivity, a rearview camera, USB port and auxiliary jack as well as a JBL sound system.
The cabin seats four passengers comfortably but there is no space in the trunk as it is occupied by a power take-off system which can act as an emergency generator for your home. It can provide up to 60 Kilowatt-hours of electricity which can power a small home for a week.
For safety, the Toyota Back to the Future Mirai features stability and traction control, antilock brakes, a rearview camera, as well as front and rear side airbags. The vehicle also features an array of driving aids such as a blind-spot monitoring system, lane-departure alert, front collision mitigation with automatic braking and adaptive cruise control. Also, the vehicle has special hydrogen sensors which issue warning and shut down the hydrogen tanks once a hydrogen leak is detected.
The vehicle is also offered with a 24-hour concierge service, round-the clock roadside assistance, a 3-year free maintenance and an 8 year/100,000-mile warranty on all its fuel-cell system components. It can’t get better than that.
Engine Specs and Performance
The advantage of hydrogen-fuel-cell cars is that they are not limited by charging cords. Toyota has spent over 2 decades trying to improve this formula and the Mirai is a testament to this fact.
The automaker has been able to come up with a fuel-cell system that is light, small and less expensive meaning it can be produced for the mass market. The system involves a front-mounted electric motor that comes good with 151 hp and 247 lb-ft of torque. Excess power generated by the fuel-cell system is stored in a 1.6kWh nickel-metal hydride battery which is mounted behind the rear axle.
Power from the system is transferred to the wheels via a ECVT system similar to the one on the Prius. The drive-train powers the Mirai to run from standstill to 60 mph in 9 seconds towards a top speed of 111 mph. The Mirai has a 300-mile range which puts most of the plug-in electric cars to shame. This is courtesy of the 5 kilograms of pressurized hydrogen it carries. Each kilogram of this hydrogen delivers equal amount of energy as a gallon of regular gasoline thus earning a fuel economy equivalent rating of 60 mpg.
Price and release date
The Mirai can be had in two ways. Just like other fuel-cell vehicles, there is an option to lease the Mirai at $ 499 a month for 36 months though $ 3,649 is due at signing. However, unlike other FCVs, the Mirai can also be bought at a cost of $ 58,335. A government incentive of up to $ 13,000 brings the price close to $ 45,000.
However, only a few people will enjoy this future at least for the time being. As at now only California has hydrogen fueling stations meaning the Mirai will only be offered in this state alone. Five more states in North America will also receive the Mirai later in 2016 once their hydrogen infrastructure is complete. According to Bill Fay, Toyota’s group vice president, they expect to sell over 3,000 units in the US before 2018.
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