Toyota has been developing its hydrogen-powered internal combustion engine for some time and has given way in a modified Corolla after a race in Japan the high performance GR Yaris the hydrotreatment.
It’s called HR Yaris H2 and it’s more of a proof-of-concept than anything else. It didn’t take much effort for Toyota to make the car either the same 1.6-liter turbo triple as in the racing Corolla (and the regular GR Yaris).
It has modified fuel supply and injection systems modeled after those of the Mirai, along with the hydrogen storage tanks.
Some other small modifications were made to the engine, limited to the reinforcement of the block (hydrogen explodes with more energy than gasoline) and new valve seats.
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Toyota Europe CEO Matt Harrison said Autocar UK that the technology “would allow almost zero tailpipe emissions without electrification, but still maintaining the things that fans love most about racing cars – the speed and the noise.”
“Music for the ears,” he added, “especially for petrolheads.”
The GR Yaris H2 is not exactly an emission-free car as it requires a small amount of oil for lubrication. However, the performance should roughly correspond to that of the gasoline-powered GR Yaris, which is rated at 200 kW / 370 Nm. Presumably the six-speed manual transmission will be retained.
The hydrogen Corolla was considered a success by Toyota when it ran for the first time in the 24-hour endurance race at Fuji Speedway in June 2021. We almost finished the race with one car at the shakedown stage. I think there was a lot of insight because we got the car ready in time for this race. “
During the race, the car spent around half of the 24 hours in the garage doing repairs and refueling with hydrogen. Toyota said it was running at about a third the efficiency of comparable gasoline cars.
This is likely where the brand is now focusing its development energy, considering it isn’t ready to mark hydrogen conversion production as production-ready just yet.
Don’t worry though, as it seems like Toyota is keen to get beyond the concept stage.
Drivetrain boss Thiebauld Paquet also spoke Autocar UK, and said that Cars with hydrogen combustion technology “don’t have to be a distant future”.
Yamaha and Kawasaki Heavy Industries both recently confirmed that they will also start developing hydrogen for motorcycles and heavy industry. Honda and Suzuki will join them in the future.
The four companies will maintain a “clear boundary between cooperation and competition” by creating a framework that defines areas of cooperation and collaborative research.