Toyota announces new artificial intelligence-powered LQ concept

Toyota announces new artificial intelligence-powered LQ concept

It now has more in common with the Lexus LS 500 than any other vehicle in the Toyota lineup.

The new "Mirai Concept", a final-stage development model of the second-generation fuel cell Mirai, which first went on sale in the U.S.in 2015, will be on view at "Future Expo" from Oct 24 until Nov 4 at the mobility focused theme park Megaweb.

On Thursday (October 10), Toyota unveiled the pre-production version of the second-generation Mirai, a better looking, more high-tech auto that promises to deliver about 30 percent more range than the 312 miles achieved presently. After 10,000 sales, that vehicle, the Mirai, is due to be replaced this year, and Toyota has released some preview images ahead of its official presentation at the Tokyo Motor Show later this month.

Powered by hydrogen, Mirai's only emission is water. For example, Toyota installed fuel cell powertrains into a test fleet of Kenworth class-8 semi-trucks that can pull a maximum 80,000-lb. load. They have an electric motor that's powered by a hydrogen fuel cell. Toyota is Japan's largest automotive manufacturer and it's been working to develop fuel-cell vehicles since 1992, but the company has met fierce competition from the battery-powered vehicle market with developers like Tesla pushing the technology into the background.

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Let's not pull punches: The first-gen Mirai looks like the unfortunate spawn of a Prius and a Dustbuster.

The new Mirai Concept is built on Toyota's latest TNGA platform and features dramatic new styling, including a revamped front with a bold grille and a sweeping, coupé-esque rear. The dash is largely clear of buttons as numerous usual controls have been moved to an 12.3-inch touchscreen display.

This has been just the beginning: at the Tokyo Motor show, Toyota will provide an early glimpse of the advances it is making across the board with the new Mirai, in terms of technical excellence, dynamic performance, and desirable design.

"Unfortunately, despite years of education efforts, hydrogen cars are still a mystery to most people", said Jackie Birdsall, a senior engineer at Toyota's R&D center in Gardena, California. The larger Mirai also just plain has more room for hydrogen storage capacity which Toyota hopes will increase the FCEV's cruising range by about 30%, which works out to about 400 miles between fill ups versus the current 312. Do you fancy Toyota's latest iteration of the Mirai? Instead, the FCEV driver simply fills the tank in about five minutes, not much longer than millions do every day with conventional vehicles. With Australia being one of many countries where public hydrogen stations are non-existent, we don't expect to see it sold here for a long time - if at all. A preview concept of the model will be on display at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show to give visitors a sneak peek of the upcoming model's performance specs.

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