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The Top Gear car review:Toyota Mirai
What is it like on the road?
Without going into the full head-scratching detail, the Mirai uses a fuel cell to turn compressed hydrogen into electricity, with water the only byproduct. Said electricity is used to drive a 152bhp front-mounted electric motor, while a battery behind the rear seats soaks up any excess energy from the fuel cell or brake regeneration, before discharging it as extra boost when your right foot asks for it. Think of it as a regular EV with its own onboard powerplant (and less range anxiety).
It’s heavy, at 1,850kg, but drives exactly like any other electric car, albeit with a hum from the fuel cell fitted beneath your posterior, and you can ‘charge’ it in three minutes, not 30. It’s quiet, seriously quiet in fact, even on the motorway. Up until around 60mph, when it starts to run out of puff, it reacts instantly to the tiniest throttle movements. Punchy at lower speeds then, but we wouldn’t advise too much high-speed tomfoolery – those skinny front tyres will only cling on up to a point, after which understeer awaits.