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by Matt Campbell

The hydrogen-powered Toyota Fuel Cell Vehicle has been revealed ahead of its April 2015 on-sale date in Japan.

The new hydrogen-powered Toyota – which was first unveiled in concept guise at the 2014 Tokyo motor show – bears a striking resemblance to the showcar, for better or worse. The aggressive nose treatment, coupe-inspired fastback roofline, and dumpy, squat rear-end have been maintained for the production car.

Its unusual proportions are maintained, with long front and rear overhangs, a bold upright front bumper, relatively small wheels and a narrow glasshouse.

For those unaware of how fuel-cell vehicles such as the new Toyota work, the car features a Fuel Cell Stack which can generate electricity as a result of the chemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen. It needs hydrogen to run, obviously, but its only bi-product is water vapour.

Toyota claims the Fuel Cell Vehicle has “a cruising range similar to a petrol-engine vehicle and a refuelling time of roughly three minutes”. It had previously stated a cruising range of up to 500 kilometres. Toyota has also claimed the car will be able to produce enough power to satisfy the needs of a regular home for a full week.

No further specifications have been made public at this point in time, but Toyota has stated the Fuel Cell Vehicle will be sold in Japan priced at about 7 million yen ($73,300).

Toyota Fuel Cell Vehicle_5

The new model will be launched in the US and Europe mid-2015. It is unlikely to be offered in Australia in the foreseeable future, but Toyota Australia’s executive director of sales and marketing, Tony Cramb, said the roll-out of the new hydrogen model is an exciting development.

“Toyota’s history with hybrid vehicles provides the experience needed to launch a new technology to the market in countries where the fuelling infrastructure is available,” Cramb said.

“In Australia, there are many challenges ahead, including development of the required infrastructure and greater customer awareness, before hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles can be offered here.

“But Toyota is confident that hydrogen will become increasingly popular as a way of powering vehicles around the world,” he said.

The Japanese company has been developing fuel cells for use in hydrogen-powered cars for 20 years. Toyota Fuel Cell Vehicle_4

Click the Photos tab for more images of the Toyota Fuel Cell Vehicle.

Read our review of the prototype version of the Toyota Fuel Cell Vehicle.



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