Japan hosted the 24-hour Super Taikyu series, which debuted an all-hydrogen car for the first time. A compressed hydrogen Toyota Corolla Sport made it to the finish line.
The hydrogen-powered Toyota Corolla Sport received a transmission, an all-wheel drive system, and a 1.6-liter three-cylinder engine from GR Yaris – but the Japanese engineers seriously modified the unit. As a result of improvements, “Corolla” became the first car in history, fully functioning on hydrogen, which took part in a marathon race. Previous riders have used hydrogen fuel cells to generate electricity.
During the 24-hour race, the hydrogen Corolla required 35 stops to refuel. While competitors with internal combustion engines were limited to an average of 20 pit stops. The main feature of using hydrogen engines is the high rate of gas combustion. In this regard, the engineers had to install four composite fuel tanks at the rear of the sports car, in which hydrogen gas was stored at a pressure of 700 bar.
Despite all the difficulties, the hydrogen Corolla still managed to complete the marathon race. Toyota officials said they plan to improve the technology and participate in future hydrogen car races. According to engineers, hydrogen engines will become a worthy competitor to electric motors.
At the end of April, Toyota published a video on the Web in which you could hear how the engine of a hydrogen Corolla sounds. During the tests, Toyota Gazoo Racing Team Zent Cerumo pilot Hiroaki Ishiura was driving the sports car and shared his impressions.