While “Back to the Future” film fans were preparing to
celebrate the movie’s 30th anniversary, corporate
bodies had other plans meant to capitalize on the craze. One
such corporate organization was the automotive giant, Toyota.
After showcasing their new hydrogen-cell Toyota Mirai in Japan,
the automaker took advantage of the October 21st
2015 day to make noise about their invention.
Toyota didn’t stop there; the automaker took advantage of the
2015 SEMA show in Las Vegas held between November
3rd and 6th to showcase a heavily
customized Mirai that looks like the DMC-12 which was used in
the movie. Toyota even went a step further by involving
Doc Brown and Marty McFLy, the two lead actors of the film in
their own short rendition of the original film to promote the
In the movie Doc Brown transformed a DeLorean DMC-12 sports car
into a time machine powered by just about any trash (from empty
beer cans to banana peels). The Mirai too runs on just
about anything as the short film shows, from solar, wind to
biogas from trash and animal waste.
The technology is part of Toyota’s plan to lower carbon
emission by 90 percent by 2050. The Mirai leads the way; in
fact, if you are driving across Nevada and you get very
thirsty, you can just quench your thirst by taking a sip of the
water it emits! Read along to find out more;
Toyota Back to the Future Mirai Exterior
The first thing that strikes you when you look at the Toyota
Back to the Future Mirai is its huge size for a coupe.
Actually, the vehicle is identical to the stock Mirai which is
actually a sedan hence the strange size. Anyway, you will
forget all that when its doors open. Just like the DMC-12, the
Back to the Future Mirai is fitted with gullwing-style doors.
The vehicle runs on 19-inch wheels unlike the stock model which
runs on 17-inch wheels. It also rides much low courtesy of its
new air suspension. Another feature is the period-correct
California license plate that screams “OUTATIME”, another
reference to the movie. The exterior is also custom painted to
resemble the DeLorean’s steel body.
Apart from that, the car is the same as the 4-door Toyota Mirai
Toyota Back to the Future Mirai Interior
Futuristic modifications on the cabin are not as extensive as
on the outside. The interior is lit with Blue LEDs. The center
console has been custom made to feature the obligatory flux
capacitor which also emanates blue light.
The head display unit is replaced by a tablet mounted on the
dash. The tablet replaces the time travel controls in the movie
car. Other features remain similar to the stock model. They
include; neoprene-look cloth upholstery, a heated
tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, 8-way heated front seats
with lumbar support, heated rear seats, a dual-zone climate
control, cruise control, a navigation system featuring a
hydrogen- fuel-station locator, Bluetooth and Smartphone
connectivity, a rearview camera, USB port and auxiliary jack as
well as a JBL sound system.
The cabin seats four passengers comfortably but there is no
space in the trunk as it is occupied by a power take-off system
which can act as an emergency generator for your home. It can
provide up to 60 Kilowatt-hours of electricity which can power
a small home for a week.
For safety, the Toyota Back to the Future Mirai features
stability and traction control, antilock brakes, a rearview
camera, as well as front and rear side airbags. The vehicle
also features an array of driving aids such as a blind-spot
monitoring system, lane-departure alert, front collision
mitigation with automatic braking and adaptive cruise control.
Also, the vehicle has special hydrogen sensors which issue
warning and shut down the hydrogen tanks once a hydrogen leak
The vehicle is also offered with a 24-hour concierge service,
round-the clock roadside assistance, a 3-year free maintenance
and an 8 year/100,000-mile warranty on all its fuel-cell system
components. It can’t get better than that.
Engine Specs and Performance
The advantage of hydrogen-fuel-cell cars is that they are not
limited by charging cords. Toyota has spent over 2 decades
trying to improve this formula and the Mirai is a testament to
The automaker has been able to come up with a fuel-cell system
that is light, small and less expensive meaning it can be
produced for the mass market. The system involves a
front-mounted electric motor that comes good with 151 hp and
247 lb-ft of torque. Excess power generated by the
fuel-cell system is stored in a 1.6kWh nickel-metal hydride
battery which is mounted behind the rear axle.
Power from the system is transferred to the wheels via a ECVT
system similar to the one on the Prius. The drive-train powers
the Mirai to run from standstill to 60 mph in 9 seconds towards
a top speed of 111 mph. The Mirai has a 300-mile range which
puts most of the plug-in electric cars to shame. This is
courtesy of the 5 kilograms of pressurized hydrogen it carries.
Each kilogram of this hydrogen delivers equal amount of energy
as a gallon of regular gasoline thus earning a fuel economy
equivalent rating of 60 mpg.
Price and release date
The Mirai can be had in two ways. Just like other fuel-cell
vehicles, there is an option to lease the Mirai at $ 499 a
month for 36 months though $ 3,649 is due at signing. However,
unlike other FCVs, the Mirai can also be bought at a cost of $
58,335. A government incentive of up to $ 13,000 brings
the price close to $ 45,000.
However, only a few people will enjoy this future at least for
the time being. As at now only California has hydrogen fueling
stations meaning the Mirai will only be offered in this state
alone. Five more states in North America will also
receive the Mirai later in 2016 once their hydrogen
infrastructure is complete. According to Bill Fay, Toyota’s
group vice president, they expect to sell over 3,000 units in
the US before 2018.