Currently reading: Toyota GR Yaris H2 is hydrogen-fuelled hot hatchback
Lightly modified four-wheel-drive GR Yaris can run on hydrogen to give similar performance with minimal emissions

The Toyota GR Yaris H2 is a hydrogen-fuelled, combustion-engined concept version of the brand's acclaimed four-wheel-drive hot hatchback.

It has been shown at Toyota's annual Kenshiki forum, during which the Japanese manufacturer heavily reinforced its commitment to hydrogen powertrain development as an alternative to all-out electrification.

Toyota has been testing hydrogen-combustion technology for several months now, using a lightly modified Corolla touring car – which uses a hydrogen-fuelled version of the GR Yaris's 1.6-litre turbo three-pot – in Japan's Super Taikyu race series.

Hydrogen-combustion technology, Toyota says, allows cars to become zero-emission relatively affordably as it allows manufacturers to exploit "existing internal combustion engine know-how and manufacturing investment". 

Using this technology, Toyota's Europe CEO Matt Harrison said, would allow Toyota to "deliver almost zero tailpipe emissions without electrification, but it does so whilst retaining the things which fans love most about race cars – the speed and the noise."

"Music to the ears," he said, "especially to those of a petrolhead."

The GR Yaris H2 uses the same unit as the Corolla racer, with minimal modifications from standard, and has the same refuelling hardware as the brand's Mirai production car. 

The subtle mechanical modifications are limited to strengthening the block (as hydrogen explodes more violently than petrol), new valve seats and an upgraded injection system. Powertrain boss Thiebauld Paquet estimated that it would achieve “similar efficiencies” to its unmodified petrol counterpart, but performance details remain under wraps.

Speaking after the concept’s reveal, Paquet told Autocar: “When we started it, we created a bit of vibration and a bit of noise, so it was clear and apparent how it sounds. That was one of the things we wanted to demonstrate: compared to fuel cell technology, which is very quiet, you can still get this feeling from sport, where you can hear and feel the car.

“In the first instance, it’s a concept. The idea is to use sports to find out the difficulties and how we can accelerate, how we can quickly come to improvements in the technology.”

Toyota has not confirmed the production potential of the GR Yaris H2, but Harrison said this technology means zero-emission motoring "needn't be a distant future". 

He said: "The uplifting message of the GR Yaris H2 is this: even in a zero-emissions future, we could still enjoy motoring thrills similar to those we enjoy today."

Back to top

Join the debate

Comments
14
Add a comment…
MisterMR44 3 December 2021

The way I read this is this is a technology that lends itself more to motorsport application than anything else right now... but as we all know with motorsport, a lot of the tech trickles down to consumer vehicles and usually for the better. I think it's great that Toyota are looking at propulsion and drivetrain alternatives even if they don't make sense or don't fit in with the current trends. You could argue that BEVs don't make a lot of sense for all sorts of reasons and they certainly don't suit everyone. I like it when manufacturers like Toyota want the consumer to have choice.

pikkoz 2 December 2021

This is just smoke and mirrors ,see the rear of the car ? in place or the rear bench and the boot is all filled with hydrogen tanks up to the ceiling  like the sister Corolla H2 race car and for what range ?  *drumroll* with the Corolla roughly 10 laps at Fuji or up to 50km in racing conditions  ,  that's less range on track  than a faster model 3 performance (82kWh) , using around 420kWh of energy/electricity and  still producing  some particulate (from burned oil and motor parts due  the high temperature) and NOx gases.

The truth is that even if 1kg of H2 contains 33kWh of energy  ,more compared than the 13.1kWh of 1kg of petrol (or 9.6kw/l)  to store 1kg of hydrogen even you compress it to 700bar (that's 100 times  LPG storage pressure in cars ) it still requires of 25 litres of internal space of special tanks that even if made with ultralight materials remain quite heavy and more than that , voluminous. In a Fuel cell car you barely have space for occupants and a  ridicolously small boot , pair it with a combustion engine that has lower than half of the efficiency and you have either half the range (170-200miles)  or no space at all for the rear occupats or the boot .

Also FCEVs aren't much lighter than EVs , the 2021 Mirai Kerb weight is 1950kg.  A similar range Model S  weights at 2069kg , that's just 119kg of difference and that's a dual motor vehicle, if you remove the model S front motor (90kg), you have an EV that's still much spacious inside, has still better performances,  and weights 29kg more than the closest FCEV vehicle. 

 

Andrew1 2 December 2021
Must be exciting to race in a bomb.