With a fuel cell stack that offers an impressive 3.1 kW/L of hydrogen, an electric motor that produces 153 horsepower, and fueling that takes only five minutes, the Toyota Mirai is arguably the most innovative hydrogen-powered vehicle built as of 2015. Add the fact that Toyota will fill up the Mirai’s tank for free for the first three years of ownership and we may have a game-changer on our hands. Needless to say, the news that Toyota plans to triple Mirai production due to high demand isn’t surprising if you ask me. But now that the futuristic four-door is already a hit, Toyota is focusing on raising even more awareness, this time among NASCAR fans.

Relax, NASCAR won’t replace today’s V-8 cars with a fleet of Mirais, but it did accept a Mirai to pace the Toyota Owners 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway. The race took place Saturday, April 25th, 2015, making the Toyota Mirai the first hydrogen-powered car to pace a NASCAR race.

The governing body accepted the Mirai as a pace car after the mid-size sedan met NASCAR’s performance requirements for the 400-mile race. And for the first time in NASCAR history, a vehicle lapped an oval track using no gasoline and emitting nothing but water vapor. This is the second time Toyota brought alternative fuel technology to NASCAR, after the Camry Hybrid paced a full race back in May 2009.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2016 Toyota Mirai Pace Car.

  • 2016 Toyota Mirai Becomes The First Hydrogen-Fueled Car To Pace NASCAR
  • Year:
    2016
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • 0-60 time:
    9 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    125 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    100000 (Est.)
  • car segment:
  • car fuel:
  • body style:

Why it matters

While the Mirai’s pace car act won’t change the way NASCAR works as a sport, it might change the audience’s perception about hybrid-fueled vehicles. Most drivers still don’t see hybrid as a viable alternative to gasoline or diesel, but the Mirai’s ability to travel up to 300 miles on a full tank might just change a few opinions. In short, this weekend’s NASACR Sprint Cup race was only a publicity stunt. But there’s nothing wrong with that.

Toyota Mirai

2016 Toyota Mirai High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Read more about the Toyota Mirai in our detailed review here.

Press Release

Toyota today announced the 2016 Toyota Mirai, a hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle, will pace the Toyota Owners 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway on Saturday night, April 25.

2016 Toyota Mirai Becomes The First Hydrogen-Fueled Car To Pace NASCAR
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Today’s approval allows the Mirai to serve as the first hydrogen-fueled vehicle to pace a NASCAR race. It will lead the Sprint Cup Series field to the green flag at Richmond on Saturday night and emit only water out of its tailpipe along the way.

“Having a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle pace the Toyota Owners 400 is a historic moment for both Toyota and NASCAR and we’re proud it’s the Toyota Mirai,” said Ed Laukes, vice president of marketing, performance and guest experience, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. “Bringing the Mirai to Richmond to pace this important race is another way for Toyota to showcase our innovation and environmental leadership.”

The Mirai is a four-door, mid-size sedan with performance to pace the 43-car NASCAR field at Richmond International Raceway (RIR) while using no gasoline and emitting nothing but water vapor. The groundbreaking fuel cell electric vehicle is powered by hydrogen, refuels in about five minutes and travels up to 300 miles on a full tank. It will arrive first to buyers in California later this year.

2016 Toyota Mirai Becomes The First Hydrogen-Fueled Car To Pace NASCAR
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The Mirai was tested and approved by NASCAR to pace the Toyota Owners 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race after a test session at RIR earlier today. In the test session, the Mirai met NASCAR’s performance requirements to pace the 400-mile NSCS race.

There is Toyota precedent bringing hybrid and alternative fuel technology to track. The Toyota Camry Hybrid earned praise as the first hybrid vehicle to pace a full NASCAR race when the hybrid vehicle was used for the Coca Cola 600 in May 2009.

From fuel-efficient vehicles to developing groundbreaking technologies, Toyota is proud to be at the forefront of environmental sustainability – and the Mirai pace car showcases this commitment. Toyota has more than 2 million hybrid vehicles on U.S. roads – more than any other manufacturer – and continues to develop new breakthroughs in plug-in, electric and hydrogen fuel cell technologies.

2016 Toyota Mirai Becomes The First Hydrogen-Fueled Car To Pace NASCAR
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Tickets for the Toyota Owners 400 race weekend at Richmond International Raceway on Friday, April 24 and Saturday, April 25, including the Toyota Care 250 NASCAR XFINITY Series race, can be purchased online at RIR.com or by calling 866-455-RACE.

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