Only a few weeks before Toyota yanks the sheets off the final version of its FCV-R hydrogen-powered Fuel Cell Hybrid Vehicle at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show in late November, the Japanese carmaker released images of a camouflaged prototype of the production model.
The first comment we’re going to make concerns the 2015 FCV-R’s appearance, which even though covered under swirly wraps, is clearly more conservative in a Prius-meets-old-Corolla kind of fashion than the futuristic 2011 FCV-R development concept.
The FCV-R is scheduled to go on sale in select countries in 2015, with Toyota targeting annual sales of between 5,000 and 10,000 cars. The Japanese automaker hasn’t announced final pricing yet, but Chris Hostetter, group vice president of strategic planning for Toyota USA, told reporters earlier this year that the car should cost between $50,000 and $100,000.
To reduce costs from the million-dollar mark several years ago, the FCV-R will utilize components from Toyota’s parts bin, including a modified version of the Prius’ Hybrid Synergy Drive system, in which a fuel cell and the conventional fuel tank with high-pressure hydrogen tanks replace the conventional petrol engine. The Prius also loans its electrical components and 21kW battery to store energy recovered by the regenerative braking system.
At last month’s Frankfurt Motor Show, Toyota said that in recent tests, the FCV-R returned a maximum driving range of 420 miles (about 680 kilometers) with zero CO2, NOx or particulate matter emissions.