Toyota Mirai Beats Nissan LEAF In Japanese Racing Series (w/video)

SEP 14 2015 BY MARK KANE 33

Toyota Mirai has eye on first place

Toyota Mirai has eye on first place

The Toyota Mirai is a rare sight, especially in racing, but in August, the Japanese company sent a Mirai out for a spin in the 2015 Japan EV-GP Series.

The Mirai took second place in its debut event with a big advanatge over LEAFs, although the  second Mirai placed 7th (when buying Mirai, choose the blue one – as obviously that color makes the car go faster).

Race distance is around 31 miles (50 km).

The Toyota Mirai has two advantages over LEAF – much more energy and more power on board, 113 kW from the motor, powered from 114 kW fuel cell stack, while the LEAF is 80 kW and 24 kWh battery.

Race results - Toyota Mirai second overall

Race results – Toyota Mirai second overall

Categories: Racing, Toyota

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33 Comments on "Toyota Mirai Beats Nissan LEAF In Japanese Racing Series (w/video)"

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Just another Mirai commercial from Toyota. It beat a bunch of Leafs and some iMev’s.

Considering the unapologetic ”education videos” from Discovery Channel’s YouTube account, advertised by yours truly, I would not be surprised at all if what you said held some water.

I would imagine your apprehension of matters of this nature is more attenuated than most.

Let the superior car win. In the realm of racing, I think it’s clear the Mirai deserves to beat the LEAF. Mirai has a much higher power to weight ratio.

So whats the story on the GT-86 EV?

That one got my attention as well. Looks like this is the vehicle (sorry about the 1 minute ad, crazy)!

or an article with mode details:

“The GT86 is equipped with an electric motor that delivers 75kW in peak (100hp) and 240Nm, instead of the original 200hp and 205 nm, with a weight that increases of 202kg (1460kg against 1258kg: maximum weight for the version with manual transmission).”

Not too impressive, but probably very fun to drive thanks to its 4-speed transmission.

I remember the Tesla Roadster dominating this in previous years. Perhaps they are in a different power bracket?

“The Toyota Mirai has two advantages over LEAF – much more energy and more power on board, 113 kW from the motor,
powered from 114 kW fuel cell stack, while the LEAF is 80 kW and 24 kWh battery.”

You forgot to mention a third advantage: The Mirai costs almost exactly twice as much as the Leaf ($58,325 vs. $29,860), so it better perform better than the Leaf.

Exactly. A better comparison would have been the i3 vs. the Mirai. The i3 costs more than $10k less and would completely kick its a**. And so would the Volt at $20k less.

Price of LEAF in Europe around 30.000 €, Mirai price is over 70.000 € like a TESLA! So in race we should compare a Tesla Model S 70 with Mirai! Toyota is so wiry with their stupid fuel cell technology.

What wouldn’t Toyota spend, for an image of a Leaf “re-fueling” in the pits?

But the Mirai had to drive 3 towns over to find a hydrogen station to refuel 🙂

300 miles per charge.
5-minute refill.

Hydrogen is a ridiculously inefficient fuel / energy storage device, but on paper, 300 mile range and 5 minute refills sounds very comparable to gasoline.

Assuming you can drive to a refueling station in 20 minutes, refill in 5 minutes, drive back in 20 minutes (covering about 50 miles), you’re still going to beat the LEAF in recharge time even if there’s a CHAdeMO on the premise, and still have about 150 more miles of range to use than the LEAF (a 2016).

Unfortunately, there isn’t a single hydrogen station within 300 miles of my house. Meanwhile, there are three CHAdeMO stations and one CCS station, hundreds of J1772 stations, and perhaps millions of NEMA 5-15 receptacles (if I get really desperate).

Sure, 40% more power, but it also has 24% more mass (4080lbs, vs 3291 for the Leaf). I’d say the outcome of this race is also largely impacted by the driver. The Mirai might out-accelerate the Leaf in a straight line, but that mass also comes into play when stopping and turning. Whatever happened to FCEVs having an advantage over EVs by not having to carry around big heavy batteries??

Oh, that’s easy. The advantage never existed to begin with.

And who wins on emissions if it’s not renewable hydrogen?

Probably the Mirai, even if the H2 is made from steam-reformed natural gas. Japan’s grid got dirtier after Fukishima when Japan shut down almost all of the country’s nuclear powered electric generation capacity and replaced it mostly with fuel oil generated electricity. Over 90% of Japan’s electricity is generated by fossil fuels: petroleum, coal, and natural gas.

Right. Let’s jump from a debacle into a quagmire of our own making, and do it in an orderly fashion, so it will seem like we know what we are doing.

Vision Solar dot com asked:

“And who wins on emissions if it’s not renewable hydrogen?”

Either fully electric cars, like the Leaf, or the average gasmobile will easily beat the Mirai on emissions, if you fully count all the well-to-wheel production emissions.

Even for the small portion of hydrogen that’s not frackogen, the ~5% of H2 fuel that’s actually from renewable sources, the processes for producing the hydrogen and taking it thru all the steps necessary to get it into the car in a highly pressurized state, is far more polluting than even the average gasmobile.

Then show me a source for your claims.

60 years ago, 90% of the electricity came from coal. Electricity must be dirty forever.

It’s irrelevant, where the hydrogen of today comes from. The hydrogen of tomorrow will come from different sources.

Well I guess this (unfortunately) gets Toyota some publicity for the Mirai, but somehow I doubt either the Leaf or the Mirai is gonna appeal to anyone wanting a “performance” car.

The driver and the car setup could play a major role in those race.
BTW I would like to see an acceleration comparaison of those two, Mirai an Leaf.
Mirai would probably be slower at the line and pickup late at speed, but It’s just my two cents.

I’d like to see a comparison of how the Mirai, new Prius, LEAF, and Volt handle curvy roads. The Mirai and new Prius both have double wishbone independent rear suspensions, while the LEAF, old Volt, and new Volt have a cheap and simple twist beam axle in the rear. I wonder if GM is delaying selling the 2015 Volt in non-CARB states to upgrade the rear suspension on all 2016 Volts to a double wishbone independent suspension to compete with a better handling new Prius, which would suck for anybody who bought a 2015 Volt. I doubt it, but you never know.

Well, what do you expect?

LEAF is SLOW. Even Prius is faster than a LEAF…

I have a 2012 Leaf and it’s really peppy.
Never rode a Prius, but I doubt it’s faster.
There’s a wealthty suburd around my commute where there’s a lot of stop and go with Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Land Rover or else with the typical alpha male or female that alway want to show their superiority status by leaving everyone behind.
They just can’t do it with my Leaf, on the contrary, I confess, I make a lot of fun beating those overconfident people.
So slower than a Prius?
Just never, not even close.

Typical “LEAF owner syndrom”…

LEAF takes almost 10s in 0-60mph time…

Prius does it in about 9.8 seconds.

LEAF is quick off the line in 0-30mph but drops off in power once you hit about 40mph.

It is slow relatively.

BTW, time to a speed isn’t the same as time to a distance which is what people perceives in daily driving. However, in racing situation, those mid range acceleration is what matters and LEAF got NONE.

Is that fair? The track is all covered with Mirai emissions!

So, this is what it takes to make a loser into a “winner.”

Quotation marks! 😉

Our 2013 Rav4 EV with 20″ racing tires on it would have finished first place by a long shot.

Are you sure that it wouldn’t go into power reduced mode after a couple of laps on the racetrack?