The 2021 Toyota Mirai is not the Mirai of old as it adds size, performance, refinement, and an interior a luxury car owner would love to own and drive. Wayne Gerdes – CleanMPG – Dec. 16, 2020 2021 Toyota Mirai The 2021 Toyota Mirai is now a truly premium FCEV with an all-new large car footprint, the latest safety and propulsion technology, a much more engaging driving experience, and a significantly longer range rating. The 2021 Mirai is built on the rear-wheel drive GA-L platform that also underpins the Lexus LS. The body is lower, longer, and wider than its predecessor and dare I say, far less ungainly. The all-new design replaces the first gen Mirai that can only be described as an ugly beast in no uncertain terms. The RWD layout and independent suspension front AND REAR will now deliver a luxury sedan ride with vastly improved handling and a far more comfortable ride. The RWD layout not only allowed an almost 50/50 weight distribution, Toyota was able to increase onboard H2 storage volume to boost EPA-estimated range to 402 miles (Mirai XLE grade), a 30 percent increase over the first-generation Mirai! The new Mirai’s design is also more practical with a five-seat cabin versus the four-seat layout in the first-gen. The all-new Mirai also features Toyota Safety Sense 2.5+, the latest generation of Toyota’s driver-assist technology suite including Full Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, auto emergency braking, and Lane Keep Assist. In addition, Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert standard. The 2021 Mirai will be offered in five exterior colors: Black, Oxygen White, Supersonic Red, Hydro Blue, and Heavy Metal. Hydro Blue, exclusive to the Limited grade, is created with primer, silver base, clear, blue clear, and final clear layers. The 2021 Mirai introduces a new lighting signature for a Toyota sedan, with long, narrow headlamps that sweep rearward into the fenders. Both grades are equipped with auto-leveling bi-beam LED headlights, multi-LED front and rear turn signal indicators, Daytime Running Lights (DRL), and clearance lights. The LED side marker lamps are etched with the Mirai logo. Out back, a thin LED taillamp light pipe spans the car’s width, tapered in the center, and creates a unique nighttime signature with three distinct gradation lines. Color-keyed heated power-folding outside mirrors feature turn signal indicators, defrosters, blind spot warning, and puddle lights. While Toyota highlighted the all-new Mirai ‘s Aero of 0.29 with passive front wheel air curtains, a full flat undercover, and aero stabilizing fins at the front edge of the side windows and windshield wipers that retract to a lower position when not in use, I found the drag number to be rather disappointing given just about everything else available today. The XLE rides on standard 19” 5-twin-spoke aerodynamic alloys while the Limited receives black machined-finished alloys or optional energy robbing 20-inch Super Chrome alloys. The Mirai’s interior layout looks luxurious with Toyota’s SofTex leather like textured surfaces and a dash that appears as a single form across its entire length as it flows into the door panels. The console armrest is a significant 3.7 in. wider and 2.3 in. longer than in the first Gen as well. A punched-metal panel resembling a speaker grille runs atop the dash and rear package shelf. Two rows of switches, one below the center display and another within the dash trim below that, are zoned by function. Three-dimensional movement of the wheel switches produce a luxury feel as well. 2021 Toyota Mirai Interior Very Avalon like… The all-new Mirai incorporates an infrared reflective layer on the roof-facing surface to help reduce heat buildup inside the cabin resulting in reduced electrical load on the AC system. A layer of Thinsulate above the headliner helps to block heat as well as provide additional sound damping. The side windows are UV-Protected and water-repellent like that found on the Prius Prime and Lexus ES. The Mirai XLE trim features SoftTex upholstery and heated, power-adjustable front seats (8-way for driver, 4-way for passenger). The Limited steps up to perforated SoftTex-trimmed heated and ventilated front and rear seats, including an 8-way power front passenger seat. The Limited interior is available in a dramatic 2-tone color scheme: White and brown or black. LED ambient lighting includes eight driver-selectable colors and blue footwell illumination. A standard digital rear-view mirror with a HomeLink transmitter in the Limited can be switched from conventional to digital modes. The latter relays an expansive camera view from behind the vehicle and can also brighten the nighttime image. For rear seat passengers in the Limited, digital touch switches on the rear of the center console operate the audio and climate controls and the panorama roof’s power sunshade. The Limited features manual sunshades for the side windows and a power shade for the rear window. A simple YES!!! tells you all you need to know about my thoughts on these added luxury features!!! Dual Digital Displays The Mirai XLE and Limited both employ an 8” LCD digital gauge cluster and a 12.3” central mounted display. Within the 8” cluster, a 4.2-in. multi-information display includes an ECO drive indicator that helps the driver to maximize efficiency, H2 fuel level, and remaining range. The 12.3” display provides easy access for the driver or front passenger, and the multimedia, climate control, and navigation content can be toggled from left and right. Both model grades come standard with Toyota’s poorly coded Dynamic Navigation three-year free trial and Premium Audio playing through 14 JBL speakers, including subwoofer. The system features the latest in-demand connectivity tech, including Bluetooth wireless technology, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, Amazon Alexa compatibility and SiriusXM with 3-month All Access trial. The 12.3” display also relays imagery from the Bird’s Eye View Camera with Perimeter Scan, Overhead 360-Degree View in drive and reverse, and Curb View (standard on Limited and available for XLE). 2021 Toyota Mirai Chassis To make the 2nd gen Mirai the flagship that it is, the Lexus GS platform and RWD configuration plus new FC system and EV powertrain placement provides a near 50:50 weight distribution. The high-strength platform is exceptionally smooth and quiet. Laser screw welding and adhesive structure bonding are among the construction techniques used to give the Mirai a truly premium feel on the road. A completely new multilink suspension replaces strut-type front suspension and truly outdated beam axle used in the first-gen Mirai. Suspension geometry and stiffness provide highly responsive, direct-feeling steering. The result is a much higher level of handling precision, giving the second-gen Mirai a distinctly sporting feel to match its future-looking powertrain. Active Cornering Assist engages the stability control to reduce understeer in certain cornering situations. Hill Start Assist Control, standard for both trims, allows safe launches from a stop while heading uphill. Electric power steering delivers quick response, with a tight 38.6-ft. turning circle for easy maneuverability. Both the XLE and Limited trims are equipped with 19 x 8-inch alloys and 235/55R19 all-season tires. The Limited in addition offers optional 20 x 8.5-inch turbine-style Super Chrome alloy wheels with 245/45ZR20 tires. <-- Just don’t on those energy sucking 20” monsters. 2021 Toyota Mirai Drivetrain MPGe estimates(city/highway/combined): XLE//Limited 76/71/74 // 67/64/65 and Range (miles): XLE/Limited 402/357 An FCEV driver simply fills the tank with H2 in about five minutes, just as millions of drivers do every day with gas vehicles. The fuel is non-toxic, compressed H2 gas and owners will receive up to $15,000 of complimentary H2 fuel during the first 3-years of ownership. An FCEV generates its own electricity onboard from H2 with water as the only emission. The fuel cell itself is composed of an anode, a cathode, and an electrolyte membrane. H2 is passed through the anode, and O2 through the cathode. The H2 molecules are split into electrons and protons. As protons pass through the electrolyte membrane, electrons go through a circuit, generating an electric current. At the cathode, the protons, electrons, and oxygen combine to produce water molecules. There are no other byproducts. The excess electricity generated by the Mirai’s fuel cell and by regenerative braking stored in a Li-Ion battery jointly power the rear-mounted AC synchronous electric motor, which drives the rear wheels through a fixed gear ratio. The second-gen Mirai features a 650v fuel cell stack is about 20 percent smaller and 50 percent lighter than the previous stack located under the hood. The new, smaller stack, allows the switch to RWD. A compact, lightweight power control unit is now integrated with the FC stack case, further reducing overall system size. Relocating the air intake manifold and optimizing the gas channel separator electrodes and seals has resulted in a 12-percent increase in power output over the first-gen stack (128kw, up from 114kw). That translates to 182 hp and 221 lb-ft. of torque vs. 151 hp and 247 lb-ft for the first-gen Mirai. In the 2021 Mirai, the Li-Ion battery is smaller and lighter (98.3 lb. vs. 103.4 lb.) and has higher capacity than the NiMH battery used in the first-gen model (310.8v and 4.0 Ah, compared to 244.8v and 6.5 Ah in the earlier car). The more compact battery package fits between the rear seat and trunk, and the trunk can carry 2-3 golf bags. Cooling air for the battery is pulled from the cabin. Refueling is as simple as couple, lock, start, uncouple, and drive away just 5-minutes later. Compressed H2 is stored in three 10,000-psi carbon-fiber-reinforced high-pressure tanks: one mounted longitudinally in the center of the car; another mounted transversely under the rear seat, and a third below the battery. The three tanks together hold about 11 pounds of hydrogen. An electric air compressor pressurizes the intake air, and a water-cooled intercooler reduces the temperature of the compressed air before it enters the FC stack. A water-cooled oil cooler integrated with the air compressor helps to provide reliability. The intake system is designed to mitigate noise, which will be virtually unnoticeable to occupants. The inlet design and sound-absorbing material in the air cleaner prevent air column resonance. By necessity, the intake air for the fuel cell must be purified; the electret air cleaner element captures ultra-fine particles (PM 2.5), and a charcoal filter removes chemical substances. The resulting air released from the system is cleaner than the intake air. Behind the wheel of the 2021 Toyota Mirai Driving the Toyota Mirai is like driving a Toyota Hybrid. Get in, buckle up, push the Start button, and the Mirai is ready to pull away. Initially offered only in California, it is perfectly capable of cold weather operation as the FC system can start at an outside temperature as low as -22°F. Normal initial acceleration uses battery energy. After initial acceleration, it smoothly transitions to FC+EV operation, and then fully to FC power to the EV drivetrain when cruising. The FC also sends electricity to be stored in the battery, and the battery is also charged by the motor-generator during deceleration. Direct current from the battery is converted into three-phase alternating current for the FC air compressor and the electric drive motor. Like the Toyota hybrids, the Mirai offers Drive Mode Select including ECO, NORMAL and SPORT modes. 2021 Toyota Mirai Safety Standard Toyota Safety Sense 2.5+ helps the 2021 Mirai driver avoid collisions or mitigate their impact in a worst-case scenario. TSS 2.5+ is the next phase in Toyota’s evolution of active safety systems. The Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection (PCS w/PD) helps detect not only the vehicle ahead but also a preceding bicyclist in daytime and even a preceding pedestrian in low-light conditions. TSS 2.5+ also enhances the PCS w/PD system with intersection support. At intersections, the system may detect an oncoming vehicle or pedestrian when performing a left-hand turn and may provide audio/visual alerts and automatic braking in certain conditions. Additional PCS functions include emergency steering assist, which is designed to stabilize the driver’s emergency steering maneuvers within their lane while avoiding a preceding pedestrian, bicyclist or vehicle. Each Mirai comes equipped with Full-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC), which can activate the feature above 30 mph, have a system designed to perform vehicle-to-vehicle distance controls down to 0 mph and resume from a stop. DRCC also includes a new feature that allows for smoother overtaking of slower vehicles. If traveling behind a vehicle traveling slower than the preset speed, once the driver engages the turn signal and initiates steering input the system will provide an initial increase in acceleration in preparation for changing lanes; after changing lanes, the vehicle will continue acceleration until it reaches the preset driving speed. Lane Departure Alert is designed to help notify the driver via steering wheel vibrations or audible alert if it senses the vehicle is leaving the lane without engaging a turn signal. When DRCC is set and engaged, Lane Tracing Assist (LTA) is designed to assist the driver by providing a slight steering force to help center the vehicle in its lane using visible lane markers or a preceding vehicle. Additional TSS 2.5+ features include Automatic High Beams, which detects preceding or oncoming vehicles and automatically switches between high beam and low beam headlights. Road Sign Assist (RSA), which is designed to recognize certain road sign information using a forward-facing camera and display them on the multi-information display (MID). With DRCC engaged and activated, RSA can also adjust speed up to the posted speed limit if driving slower or down to the posted speed limit if driving faster than posted. In addition to the TSS 2.5+ system, to help Mirai drivers change lanes with confidence, Blind Spot Monitor is designed to help detect and warn you of vehicles approaching or positioned in the adjacent lanes. Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) can offer added peace of mind by helping to detect vehicles approaching from either side while backing out and alerting you with a visual and audible warning. 2021 Mirai XLE and Limited Trims The Mirai XLE includes standard SofTex seating surfaces; heated 8-way power driver and 4-way power passenger seats; dual-zone auto climate control with remote; Smart Key with trunk-release, panic button and remote illuminated entry; auto-leveling LED headlamps; LED front interior reading lights; Toyota Premium Multimedia system with navigation and 14 JBL speakers; Qi wireless charger; power tilt/telescoping steering wheel; auto-dimming rearview mirror, and electronic parking brake. Connected Services include Safety Connect with 1-year trial; Service Connect with 10-year trial; Remote Connect with 1-year trial; Wi-Fi Connect with up to 2 GB within 3-month trial, and Destination Assist with 1-year trial. As an option, the XLE offers the Advanced Technology Package that includes Bird’s Eye View Camera, Front and Rear Parking Assist with Automated Braking, and Front Seat Foot Illumination. The Mirai Limited adds ventilated front seats, heated rear seating, three-zone automatic climate control (two-zone in front, one-zone in rear with separate digital control panel), ambient lighting, and a panoramic roof. 2021 Mirai Pricing The 2021 Mirai XLE starts at $49,500, $9,050 less than the starting MSRP of the outgoing 2020 Mirai. An Advanced Technology Package, which includes Bird’s Eye View camera, front and rear Parking Assist with Automated Braking and front seat foot illumination, can be added for $1,410. The Limited grade has a starting MSRP of $66,000, with optional 20” Super Chrome Alloys available for an additional $1,120. <-- Again, please do not… Both the XLE and Limited have a Special Color price of $425 for Oxygen White, Heavy Metal, Supersonic Red and Hydro Blue (Limited only). The Mirai XLE will have a starting lease price of $499 a month, while the Limited grade lease pricing starts at $549 a month. Special launch incentives will be available when this next-generation Mirai first goes on sale, including special finance rates, retail cash back and launch cash back. Each Mirai comes with up to $15,000 of complimentary hydrogen. Extended ToyotaCare, good for three years or 35,000 miles, will come standard with each Mirai. Other owner benefits include roadside assistance for three years (unlimited miles), an eight-year/100,000-mile FCEV warranty on key fuel cell electric vehicle components, a complimentary rental experience for up to 21 days during the first three years of ownership, and much more. AFDC linked jpg: The one and only H2 FCEV Refueling Station in San Diego County - 18 miles from my own home in Carlsbad, CA. I would love drive the all-new 2nd gen Mirai but only "if" the H2 refueling infrastructure has advanced significantly beyond what was available just 3 short years ago. For more on my FCEV hesitancy, consider the 10s of H2 FCEV stories I embedded in the Honda and Toyota FCV World Debuts with Headwinds headline link.