It's fair to say the first-generation Mirai was fiendishly clever; it's also fair to say that its design was an acquired taste.
Toyota revealed mid-October a concept for its 2021-model-year hydrogen-fuel-cell-powered Mirai, which now looks like it could replace just about anything in your garage.
Some of that increase comes from physically bigger tanks, but Toyota also says there are advancements in the fuel cell and its associated electronics, which combines hydrogen gas with oxygen from the atmosphere to generate power for the Mirai's electric drive motor and produces pure water as its only by-product. "We want to give people choices".
The 2021 Mirai will be longer, lower, and wider.
The second-generation Mirai is built on a rear-wheel drive platform, a major departure from the original front-wheel drive version in terms of design. It has a 3-spoke multifunction steering wheel, a digital instrument cluster, a 12.3-inch touchscreen head-unit, wireless charging and a gear level mounted on the centre fascia.
Toyota has been slower than its peers to embrace electric vehicles, citing uncertain demand in key markets including the US and technical hurdles that limit battery range and recharging times.
This time around Toyota is aiming for performance and being more of a driver's vehicle. That suggests around 405 miles, versus the current 312 miles the EPA rates the existing Mirai as good for.
"I want customers to say 'I chose the Mirai because I simply wanted this auto, and it just happens to be an FCEV.' We will continue our development work focusing on that feeling, and we hope that with the new Mirai we will be a leader in helping to realize a hydrogen energy society", Yoshikazu Tanaka, Chief Engineer of the Mirai, said in a statement.
The British entrepreneur is scrapping plans to develop an electric vehicle.
The power - which is converted in the fuel cell system from hydrogen to electricity, supplying electric motors that drive the rear wheels - will be more enjoyable too. Pricing won't be announced until later, but it will be sold as a premium vehicle under the Toyota brand.
Nonetheless those advantages have been diluted by the reality of the larger FCEV ecosystem.
Since the first-gen model that went on sale in 2015, most Mirais have gone to the North American market, particularly the state of California. The next Mirai will be sold in more states as Toyota adds more fuel stations in the Northeast and other parts of the country.