You may not immediately recognize this car, or its model name, but rest assured, that will change before much longer. Only three vehicles with hydrogen fuel-cell powertrains exist in North America, and they’re only sold in California – which by itself, constitutes one of the world’s largest automotive markets – and in Hawaii, because they’re the only two states where hydrogen-refueling stations currently exist. Toyota is one of the automakers that serves this market-in-waiting, and for five years, has offered the Mirai sedan to interested buyers. The Mirai is about to go into its second generation, involving changes that will ensure nobody ever mistakes it for a Prius.
The hugely aggressive, Lexus-themed frontal treatment for the 2021 Mirai is no accident, because the biggest coming change is the Mirai’s shift to a rear-drive platform, which generally mirrors the Lexus GS in dimensions, proportions and layout. That’s right, a legitimate rear-drive car that’s squeaky clean from an emissions standpoint. Offered in XLE and Limited trim grades, every 2021 Mirai will feature the Toyota Safety Sense 2.5+ suite as standard equipment, and to combat all that quietude, an audio system with subwoofer, amplifier and 14 JBL speakers. The new-generation Mirai goes on sale next month.