Toyota GR Yaris H2: Hydrogen hot hatch demonstrated in action

Toyota President and CEO Akio Toyoda has doubled down on his enthusiasm for hydrogen combustion technology, after getting behind the wheel of the flagship Toyota GR Yaris H2 prototype at the WRC Belgium rally this weekend.

The racing enthusiast demonstrated the potential of a specially tuned prototype – a combustion-engine, hydrogen-powered concept version of the brand’s famous all-wheel drive saloon – at Ypres, with the champion Four-time WRC opponent Juha Kankkunen is co-driver. According to the news on Wapcar Automotive News, this is the first time Toyota has launched a hydrogen-burning prototype on a track outside of Japan.

After the race (shown in the video below), Toyoda said he was grateful to Juha for his courtesy in allowing me to drive. He guided me in tune with my driving, helping me feel at ease. The roads were hard, not only slippery but narrow, and their surface seemed to change from time to time.

Some of the customers look like the roads used at Rally Japan, and it’s a good opportunity to think about the races with spectators in mind. He and his team also have a Toyota Mirai in place to demonstrate external power, and he believes that with hydrogen driving they can highlight in Europe the potential of hydrogen which can be regarded as a choice to push forward carbon neutrality.

Kankkunen added that Akio is a great driver. And the hydrogen engine produces solid torque, making it no different from a gasoline engine. Because they do not emit CO2, he believes that hydrogen engines will become one of the options to achieve carbon neutrality not only in the world of motorsport but also in the world of everyday cars.

Toyota has been experimenting with hydrogen combustion technology for a few months now, using a slightly modified Toyota Corolla touring car – using a hydrogen-powered version of the GR Yaris, a 1.6-liter triple turbocharger. cylinder – in the Super Taikyu racing series in Japan. and 24 hours of Fuji.

According to Toyota, hydrogen combustion technology allows cars to become zero-emissions at a relatively affordable price, as it allows manufacturers to tap into “existing know-how and production of internal combustion engines”.

Toyota Europe CEO Matt Harrison said the use of the technology would allow Toyota to “generate almost zero emissions from the exhaust without electrification, but still preserving what people want.” most fans love racing cars – speed and noise”.

“Music to the ears,” he said, “especially that of a petrol driver.”

The GR Yaris H2 uses the same unit as the Corolla race car, with minimal changes to the standard and has the same refueling hardware as the brand’s production Mirai.

Sophisticated mechanical modifications are limited to block reinforcement (because hydrogen explodes more violently than gasoline), new valve seats and an improved injection system. Powertrain boss Thiebauld Paquet estimates it will achieve “similar performance” to its unmodified petrol counterpart, but performance details have yet to be introduced. Speaking after the concept was revealed last year, Paquet explained when they launched it, they created a bit of a vibe and a little bit of noise, so it’s clear and clear. That’s one of the things they want to prove: compared to fuel cell technology, which is very quiet, you can still get a sporty feel, where you can hear and feel the car.

Above all, it is a concept. The idea is to use sport to explore the difficulties and how we can accelerate, how we can rapidly improve technology.

Toyota hasn’t confirmed the production potential of the GR Yaris H2, but Harrison said the technology means zero-emissions engines “are not a distant future.”

By Williumson

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