Toyota will enter three cars into the Hankook Super Taikyu Series this year but there’s a catch! No two cars will have the same engine. In fact, each car will use a unique type of fuel altogether. The Corolla racecar pictured below is Hydrogen powered, the GR86 pictured below that is powered by a carbon neutral fuel and lastly, there is also a petrol powered GR86.
Toyota’s aim is to achieve a carbon neutral society where motorsport can still flourish, a mission that has been accelerated this year! The Japanese giant entered a Hydrogen powered Corolla in the same competition last year but it wasn’t quite on par with the petrol powered competition. Things are different this year as the Hydrogen powered Corolla has seen a power increase of 24% and a 33% torque increase! They have also fixed the combustion issues that plagued the racecar last year! How good is that?
Though the work isn’t quite done just yet as the brand will spend this year improving refilling times and cruising range under Hydrogen power. A good start nonetheless!
While the Hydrogen powered achievements are fascinating, the ‘carbon neutral’ fuel is even more thought provoking! So how does Toyota achieve this feat you might ask? A good question and one that is answered by the air around you, quite literally! The carbon neutral GR86 uses a 1.4 turbo engine which uses carbon during the combustion process while also releasing carbon dioxide at the same time. An equation which results in difference of 0. Toyota have affirmed that this is a new technology and one that they will keep refining with the help of Subaru.
Toyota’s new Hydrogen partner, Yamanashi Prefecture is an interesting one as well. They produce Hydrogen via electrolysis (separating molecules using electricity) of water in a process that is powered by solar energy! The resulting energy created is then stored at their plant pictured above.
Transportation is another tricky part of the Hydrogen fuel cycle but one that Toyota have excelled at. Thanks to their work with Mira FCEV (fuel cell electric vehicle), they have experimented with the art of regulating pressure to make Hydrogen transport more efficient. The firm’s innovation with ‘resin liners’ has meant that fuel can be transported at 45MPa with Toyota pushing for a pressure of 70MPa currently!
Personally, I am really excited to see Toyota’s developments in this area as it could mean saving our car and motorsport culture for the future. Godspeed Toyota, Godspeed!
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Words by Matthew D’Souza, pictures courtesy of Toyota Newsroom Global.