It’s official — well, almost. Toyota’s first mass-produced hydrogen fuel cell car — a five-seat mid-size sedan — will be known in its home market of Japan as the Toyota Mirai.
That’s according to Bloomberg (via AutomotiveNews), which says an anonymous source at the Japanese automaker has leaked the name ahead of the car’s official naming later this year.
The name, Japanese for ‘the future,’ follows Toyota’s predilection for giving its environmentally-friendly cars fairly grandiose names. The name Prius — used for its now legendary family of hybrid cars — comes from the latin word meaning ‘to go before.’
Due to go on sale in Japan next year with a price tag of ¥7 million before a massive ¥2 million in government incentives, the Toyota Mirai is expected to achieve a range of around 435 miles on five kilos (12 pounds) of compressed hydrogen on the Japanese JC08 test cycle. In more realistic conditions, we’d expect a range of between 300 and 350 miles per fill.
While its specifications and non-domestic price tag haven’t been released yet, we’d expect a similar price in the U.S. and Europe, subject to as-yet unannounced governmental incentive programs.
At the time of writing Toyota has declined to comment on official U.S. and European naming for the five-seat hydrogen sedan, but as Bloomberg notes, Toyota has trademarked the Mirai name in the U.S.
Toyota’s ostentatious decision to call its first hydrogen fuel cell vehicle the “Toyota Future” is bound to raise eyebrows in the automotive world, especially among rival automakers Nissan and Tesla, both of whom believe that the future automotive technology of choice is the battery electric vehicle rather than the hydrogen fuel cell vehicle. That said, we think it fits in rather well in a market already full of cars with obvious, over-the-top names.
But what do you make of the name? Do you think it fits the new fuel cell vehicle from Toyota well, or do you think automakers need to be a little more creative when coming up with names?
Leave your thoughts in the Comments below.
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