Ride in Fine Comfort: Toyota Fuel-Cell Concept Has 600-Plus Miles of Range

 

The luxury sedan of the future will be hydrogen powered and look something like a fish—at least according to Toyota. The company’s latest concept car for the Tokyo auto show is called the Fine-Comfort Ride and is meant to preview a premium sedan that is at once environmentally friendly and spacious, with plush seating for six. Toyota also claims that the car’s packaging, being purpose built to accommodate hydrogen fuel cells, allows for a driving range of more than 600 miles.

The Fine-Comfort Ride’s bizarre, futuristic design is dictated by its long, 135.8-inch wheelbase and unconventionally shaped body, which is meant to maximize aerodynamics and interior space. The four wheels are pushed out to the corners and incorporate in-wheel electric motors, while an underbelly cover helps isolate the cabin acoustically. Toyota isn’t providing any other details about the powertrain at this point, other than a claim that the hydrogen fuel cells can be refueled in around three minutes.

 The Fine-Comfort Ride’s interior is typical concept-car fare, with fanciful materials and an impossibly open and airy atmosphere. Four individual seats appear to be able to swivel and adjust every which way, while a third-row bench seat expands seating capacity to six. All sorts of touch displays look appropriately spaceship-like, as does the unconventional-looking steering wheel that’s more like a joystick.

Rather than being any sort of near-production vehicle, the Fine-Comfort Ride instead seems like a way for Toyota to set goals for the future. This concept’s driving range of 620 miles would be a big step forward compared with Toyota’s current production fuel-cell vehicle, the Mirai, which has an estimated range of 312 miles on a single tank of hydrogen. We’ll see how quickly Toyota can make progress toward these ambitions as it continues exploring various alternative-fuel technologies.