• The Hydrogen-Powered Toyota Corolla Endurance Racer Sounds Pretty Good

This is the soundgasm we need heading into the future

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The internal combustion engines are on the verge of getting knocked off into oblivion, but that doesn’t mean electrification is the only way to go. A lot of automakers are fighting to keep them alive for as long as possible before euthanizing them. Toyota is one of them, and it recently gave us a preview of the hydrogen-powered version of the GR Yaris’ engine. The automaker plonked it into a Corolla hatch and released a video of how it sounds. If this doesn’t give you the chills, we don’t know what will.

Say Hello To The Hydrogen-Powered Corolla Endurance Racer

The Hydrogen-Powered Toyota Corolla Endurance Racer Sounds Pretty Good
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Toyota has switched the GR Yaris’ 1.6-liter, three-cylinder mill’s diet from gasoline to hydrogen. In the new iteration, the engine is said to emit close to nil CO2 emissions except for the combustion of minute amounts of engine oil when running. The company had previously stated that the new engine will be transplanted into a Corolla Sport-based race car and the car you see here is that same prototype. The race car will be used in the Super Taikyu endurance series in Japan starting from May 21 this year.

You can see racing driver Hiroaki Ishiura mention in the video that the car sounds and drives pretty much like a normal internal combustion engine. Toyota will use this prototype to test it under severe conditions on the race track, and if successful, we could perhaps see its application in production cars, too, somewhere down the line.

2019 Toyota Corolla GR Sport
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There is no word on the power outputs here, but in the stock condition, the three-pot supercharged mill in the GR Yaris makes 261 horses and 266 pound-feet of torque. It also features an all-wheel-drive system that works in tandem with a six-speed manual gearbox to route power to all four wheels. We expect it to make a lot more in this track racer.

We’ll Welcome The GR Corolla With Our Arms Wide Open

2019 Toyota Corolla GR Sport
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Since we saw the Corolla powered by a GR Yaris’ engine, how can we not talk about it? The GR Yaris is a forbidden fruit Stateside, but there are reports of the GR Corolla coming here sometime in 2022. It was earlier expected to arrive in the four-door avatar with the same engine as the GR Yaris and in the same state of tune.

However, it is now expected to arrive with 296 horses and 270 pound-feet of torque, which is an improvement of 39 horses. Being a four-door, we expect its performance times to be similar to that of the GR Yaris. This makes it a lot more powerful than the 228-horsepower Golf GTI and the 275-horsepower Hyundai Veloster N, but falls slightly short of the 305-horsepower Honda Civic Type R. Still not bad, right?

Final Thoughts

2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback - Driven
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That said, does it mean hydrogen-powered internal combustion engines could be the environmental-friendly substitutes that the world needs? And, can we have these instead of EVs? Well, not really because burning hydrogen might not emit any CO2, but it still emits NOx. Now, unless the governments worldwide are okay with a little emission or Toyota comes up with a way a convert the NOx before its released into the air, the hydrogen-powered engine will not see the daylight. Nevertheless, we are optimistic and would like to see it a few years down the line.

What are your thoughts on this hydrogen-powered engine? Sounds amazing, doesn’t it? Share them with us in the comments section below.

Sidd Dhimaan
Sidd Dhimaan
Senior Editor, Truck Expert, EV Expert - sidd@topspeed.com
Sidd joined the Topspeed.com team in 2017 as an intern and in less than a year he earned a full-time position as an associate editor and junior automotive expert. Fast forward to today, and he is currently serving as a senior editor, pickup truck expert, and EV expert.  Read full bio
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