Toyota FCV-R Fuel Cell Concept to Debut in Tokyo, Previews 2015 Model

After many large carmakers like Honda, Daimler, BMW and even Hyundai announced their plans to offer production versions of car powered by fuel cell technology by the end of the decade, Toyota couldn’t miss this opportunity and the Japanese carmaker announced the Toyota FCV-R Fuel Cell Concept, whose production version might be ready as soon as 2015.

The concept’s name stands for “Fuel Cell Vehicle – Reality and Revolution” and its styling is pretty similar to what we see today on the popular Toyota Prius, having a total length of 4.74 meters (15.55 feet) and a wheelbase of 2.7 meters (8.86 feet). The front part seems a little weird, acting like a business card for the vehicle’s “green” character. Both in the front and at the rear, the Japanese designers styled a set of “whiskers” fitted with LED lights, while the front bumper features an extra large air intake.

Because the concept’s fuel cell system is mounted under the floor, the mid-size car is taller than the Prius, in order to offer enough interior space for four passengers and their luggage. To make sure comfort isn’t sacrificed, Toyota has created a specially designed bodyshell for the FCV-R so it can offer proper spacing for every need. The interior is completely futuristic and high-tech, the dashboard being dominated by touchscreen displays and a central console like a peninsula, rear passengers also having access to some high-tech features.

Looking at the car’s technical specs, the Toyota FCV-R Fuel Cell Concept features a 70 MPa high-pressure hydrogen tank, the fuel cell system offering a total driving range of 700 km (435 miles). So far, the Japanese carmaker hasn’t revealed any detailed technical information and performance data, but we’ll know more about the car closer to its debut. The new fuel cell concept is scheduled to show up for the first time next month, at the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show in Japan’s capital.

Like I said at the beginning of this article, fuel cell technology is currently seen as one of the most viable alternative propulsion technologies, many carmakers working hard to adapt it for passenger cars that properly meet our daily needs. By the end of this decade we should expect seeing several models launched into production, some carmakers, like Toyota, being even more optimistic and anticipating production ready models within a few years. The Japanese carmaker says the FCV-R concept makes fuel cell technology one step closer to production and that we should expect a production version launched in 2015.

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