Toyota is already a leader when it comes to hydrogen cars, with its Mirai being one of very few fuel-cell cars available for customers to buy. 

But Toyota is continuing to explore the fuel, and yesterday revealed an experimental version of its highly-regarded GR Yaris hot hatch, which has an engine modified to use hydrogen as a fuel. 

Powered by the same hydrogen fuel as the Mirai, it also has the same fuel tanks and refilling process. However, where the Mirai employs a chemical reaction in the fuel cells to generate energy, the GR Yaris instead features a conventional combustion engine that’s been tweaked so that it can run on hydrogen.

While the methods used in the GR Yaris are said to be in the ‘early stages of conceptual development’, Toyota has been exploring the methods since 2017. Over in Japan, a Corolla Sport modified to use the fuel is already competing in motorsport with ‘almost zero tailpipe emissions’. 

Akio Toyoda, president of Toyota Motor Corporation, said: “We’ve taken the first step to compete with and develop our hydrogen-powered engine with the mindset of taking on the challenge. I imagine things will look a little different 10 years from now, and I hope people will look back and see how we took on the challenge with positivity and enjoyed every moment of it.” 

As hydrogen burns at a faster rate than petrol, it’s said to offer ultra-responsive performance, along with bringing environmental benefits. This method still means you still get the ‘normal’ sound of an engine which many performance car fans are likely to mourn the loss of as the industry transitions to an electrified future.