Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Toyota FCV-R prototype review

Toyota's first production fuel-cell car - the FCV-R - will be unveiled in Tokyo next month. We got an early drive of a disguised prototype
Just to make it clear here the FCV-R saloon, which is unveiled at the Tokyo Show in November, has two spun-carbon and aluminium tanks holding hydrogen gas pressurised to 700 bar (10,000 psi). These tanks, which sit underneath and behind the rear seat, will give this remarkable saloon a drive-cycle range of 310 miles and will take just three minutes to fill from empty.
As if in proof, Toyota recently drove its heavily disguised FCV-R prototype 200 miles from Toyota City near Nagoya, to Harumi Pier in Tokyo. True, the route was all on expressways and Toyota’s test driver is hardly likely to have been standing on it, but based on the remaining hydrogen in the tanks, that’s a projected cruising range of 404 miles.
I didn’t get to drive the prototype that far, but I did stand on it on a curvaceous test course around a car park near Harumi Pier and all you could hear were the protests from the tyres as what is the quickest, one of the quietest, and certainly the most sporting fuel-cell car I have ever driven fair walloped around the pylons.