Toyota has shepherded in the next generation of vehicle technology with the production launch of its Mirai hydrogen fuel cell-powered saloon.
Motomachi plant in Toyota City has been chosen for the manufacturing process – home to many an iconic model including the Lexus LFA supercar.
Although small in size, the facility is meticulous in its work and will produce the Mirai with the same care and attention to detail that was given to the LFA.
With a production run of just 500, the last Lexus V10 coupe came off the production line just over two years ago – the Mirai is being made at a rate of around three cars per day.
Toyota fans can get a look behind the scenes at Motomachi with a series of short films which reveal key stages in the production process, from the initial steps up to the final inspection every car goes through before leaving the plant.
The first vehicles left Motomachi in 1959 and its 56-year history, produced such well-known Toyotas as the Publica, Corana, Cresta, Soarer, Supra and RAV4.
Mirai is now on sale in Japan and will be introduced in small numbers to the UK and other European markets during 2015.
Toyota’s Fuel Cell Sedan is a development on the FCV Concept which was first unveiled back in 2013 at the Tokyo Motor Show.
Whilst Toyota has kept similar styling to the concept model, several detail changes have been made, including adjustments to the radiator grille, headlights, rear light and aerial, plus the roof and fuel filler cap.
In order to save room and lower the vehicle’s centre of gravity, the fuel cell, battery and fuel tanks have been fitted under the floor.
Meanwhile, compartment located in the front of the car contains the electric motor, electronic control system and boost converter.
To help encourage the development of hydrogen-fuelled vehicles, Toyota recently made thousands of its global hydrogen fuel cell patents available to others, free of any royalties.