Toyota brought its hydrogen-powered GR Yaris concept to the 9th round of the World Rally Championship (WRC) in Ypres, Belgium, for a special demonstration run.
The Toyota GR Yaris H2 concept car, which was first revealed in December 2021, is the first time Toyota has taken a “under-development hydrogen-engine vehicle” on public roads outside of Japan.
Toyota President and CEO Akio Toyoda, who is also a race driver under the nickname Morizo, drove the hydrogen-powered GR Yaris concept for Special Stage 11 on the second day of the Ypres Rally.
The hydrogen-powered GR Yaris served as a test car, racing ahead of the safety car dispatched to ensure “stage safety” prior to the start of Special Stage 11.
It was a 15-kilometer stretch of “extremely narrow farm roads running along fields and between houses.” For this stage, Morizo was joined by former four-time WRC champion Juha Kankkunen as a co-driver.
The Toyota GR Yaris H2 uses the same hydrogen-powered powertrain as the Corolla Sport race car, which has been racing in Japan’s Super Taikyu endurance racing series since May 2021.
Although this GR Yaris concept uses the same fuel source as the fleet-only Mirai hydrogen fuel-cell electric vehicle (FCEV), the Mirai generates energy through chemical reactions in its fuel cells, whereas the GR Yaris has an internal-combustion engine that runs on hydrogen.
The hydrogen-powered GR Yaris concept is powered by a 1.6L ‘G16E-GTS’ inline-three-cylinder turbocharged engine, which is similar to the petrol-powered GR Yaris but with a modified fuel supply and injection system for the hydrogen fuel source.
Toyota has not revealed power or torque figures for the hydrogen-powered GR Yaris concept, nor has it stated how quickly it can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h.
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