Honda has whipped the covers off the tentatively named FCV (fuel cell vehicle) – a production-ready, hydrogen-powered family sedan – ahead of its unveiling at this month’s Tokyo motor show.
Revealed in this single image, the FCV (which will be renamed before it hits the market) takes plenty of design inspiration from the FCV concept that debuted late last year.
It will become the Japanese brand’s second publically available hydrogen-powered vehicle, though unlike its predecessor, the FCX Clarity, which was available exclusively in California and in strictly limited numbers, the innovative new model will be rolled out in a number of hydrogen-ready markets around the world from next year.
It will launch first in Honda’s home market in the first half of next year, with the US and Europe, including the UK, set to follow in the second half of 2016 and 2017. It’s likely to be sold wherever its key rival, the Toyota Mirai, is sold. Australia's non-existent hydrogen refuelling infrastructure means any local introduction will be years away, if it reaches our shores at all.
Honda claims the FCV is the first production sedan in the world capable of packaging its entire fuel cell powertrain in the space normally occupied by a conventional engine and transmission. It says this layout means the cabin is uncompromised, offering the space and comfort of a regular five-seat sedan.
Under Japanese testing regime, the FCV claims a cruising range of more than 700 kilometres, giving it bragging rights over the Mirai, which is rated at 650km.
That’s the only figure Honda has released at this stage, keeping powertrain details under wraps for now. On that front, it has promised only that the FCV’s “high-output motors” deliver “exhilarating driving” performance.
Honda also says Japanese-spec FCVs will be able to act as a mobile power plant thanks to it external power-feeding inverter, allowing it to generate and provide electricity to communities in case of emergency.th