Toyota’s hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, the Mirai, was named 2016 World Green Car at the New York International Auto Show. But Toyota Motor Corporation is no stranger to the World Car Awards programme – now in its 12th year. Previously, the Prius earned “Top Three in the World” status for both the World Green Car and the overall World Car of the Year categories.
The Toyota GT86 was a “Top Three in the World” finalist for World Car of the Year in 2013; the Toyota iQ in 2009 for the same category; and the Toyota Harrier Hybrid in 2006 for World Green Car. To be considered for nomination, a vehicle had to be all‐new or substantially revised, in production and introduced for sale or lease to the public in quantities of at least 10 in at least one major market during the period beginning January 1, 2015 and ending May 31, 2016.
The Mirai prevailed victorious in a shortlist of three vehicles, including the new Toyota Prius, to claim the coveted title. The winner was decided by a jury of 73 automotive journalists from 23 countries worldwide. Contenders were awarded points based on tailpipe emissions, fuel consumption, and use of a major advanced power plant technology (beyond engine componentry), aimed specifically at increasing the vehicle’s environmental responsibility.
It should be no brainer then that the Mirai, which has no internal combustion and emits nothing other than water vapour, came tops. The Toyota Mirai is a four-door, mid-size sedan with performance that fully competes with traditional internal combustion engines though it uses no petrol or diesel. The ground-breaking fuel cell electric vehicle is powered by hydrogen, re-fuels in about five minutes, and travels up to 400km on a full tank.
Despite of its advanced powertrain technology, it is a practical and fun-to-drive car, with a quiet, comfortable ride and striking contemporary design.