Toyota showcased its experimental hydrogen-powered combustion engine technology in the multiple award-winning GR Yaris. The hydrogen fuel, fuel tanks and refueling process of the experimental vehicle are the same as found in the Mirai, Toyota’s commercially available flagship fuel cell electric vehicle.
2022 GR Yaris Hydrogen
While the Mirai employs chemical reaction in the fuel cells to generate energy, the experimental GR Yaris features an internal combustion engine with hydrogen as the fuel.
While the hydrogen combustion engine technology is still in the early stages of conceptual development and experimentation (which started in 2017 and is not yet ready for commercialisation), Toyota’s experimental hydrogen-powered Corolla Sport is already delivering high performance at motorsport events in Japan with almost zero tailpipe emissions.
Japan’s auto industry must succeed in building passenger vehicles. To this end, manufacturers must participate in auto-racing to test their vehicles’ durability and performance and display their utmost performance. With competition comes progress, as well as excitement among motoring fans. The aim of racing is not just to satisfy our curiosity, but rather to enable the development of the Japanese passenger vehicle industry.
The hydrogen-powered experimental GR Yaris and the Corolla Sport both feature the same G16E-GTS, 1.6-liter, in-line 3-cylinder, turbocharged engine that is found in the award-winning GR Yaris, but with a modified fuel supply and injection system for use with hydrogen as fuel.
The experimental hydrogen-powered Corolla Sport has already been competing in the Super Taikyu race series in Japan since May this year under the ROOKIE Racing arm of Toyota GAZOO Racing where the team has taken on the challenge to test the experimental hydrogen combustion engine under the harsh environments of motorsport.
Hydrogen combusts at a faster rate than gasoline, resulting in good responsiveness whilst delivering excellent environmental performance. In addition to being extremely clean, hydrogen combustion has the added potential to relay a fun to drive experience with the acoustic and sensory sensations that characterize internal combustion engines.
We’ve taken the first step to compete with and develop our hydrogen-powered engine with the mindset of taking on the challenge. I imagine things will look a little different 10 years from now, and I hope people will look back and see how we took on the challenge with positivity and enjoyed every moment of it.