The FCR being unveiled at the Tokyo motor show tomorrow morning (October 25) has been conceived as a concept for Toyota’s next-generation fuel-cell-vehicle premium saloon.
This six-seater is based on the company’s conceptual, next-generation electric-car platform and the diamond silhouette-shaped, upright bodywork, with the wheels pushed out to the corners, has been designed to maximise interior space.
Full autonomous driving is being predicted for 2025-2030 when the project would be completed, therefore the four main pedestal-mounted seats face each other and are located at each corner of the cabin to make the most of individual space. There also appears to be a rear bench seat, but it has only nominal accommodation.
Takao Sato, the FCR’s chief engineer, says:It is 4,830mm long, 1,950mm wide and 1,650mm high, so it is smaller than the Mercedes S-class but it has a big, roomy space inside.Four-wheel drive with in-wheel motors provide about 310kw of power and the FCR has a next-generation 120kW fuel-cell stack, which is, according to Sato, “at least 10 per cent more efficient than the [current] Mirai stack”.
In fact, when the gains from aerodynamics and the more efficient drivetrain are taken into account, the range efficiency is up about 20 per cent compared with the Mirai. The predicted range is about 1,000km (620 miles) from the 6kg tubular hydrogen tank, which is pressurised to 700 Bar and runs along the centreline of the car. The refuelling time is quoted at between three to five minutes.
Sato says his engineers are still working on the pipe-shaped hydrogen tank and the new battery buffer, of which there are no details.The buffer battery is a very sensitive area of R&D, and we have not published our work at the moment,” says Sato.
Toyota’s fuel-cell development is shared with no one at the moment and the company is clearly pushing to meet Japanese government targets which mandate its car-makers to have fuel-cell-powered cars on the road in time for the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020.
To that end, Toyota has also unveiled a fuel-cell bus, the Sora (which stands for Sky Ocean River Air), which uses most of the Mirai’s powertrain components (including two fuel-cell stacks) to give an urban range of 200km/124 miles.
The Sora is destined for mass production and Toyota is aiming to have at 100 examples on the road in Tokyo by 2020.