As promised, the Toyota FCV Concept made its official debut at the Tokyo Auto Show. Still without a formal name -- or an interior -- this first in-the-flesh appearance for the company's upcoming fuel-cell-powered mid-size sedan did allow a better look at the striking exterior styling that's reported to be extremely close to production spec as well as offer a first view of its underside showing how and where various elements of the car's zero-emissions powertrain will be positioned.
Toyota provided little in the way of new technical information about the fuel cell system that will be used in the volume-build version of the FCV Concept that we hadn't already reported last month following our drive in an FCV prototype fitted with this identical setup. It's new scaled-down fuel cell stack will turn out in excess of 100kW of power and boasts a world-benchmark power density of 3kW per liter -- interestingly enough, virtually identical figures to those claimed by Honda for the FCEV Concept that it showed in Los Angeles. Toyota's 300 mile+ per tank range and roughly 3 minute tank refilling time when using a 70MPa (10,150 psi) high-pressure refueling rig also mirror Honda's claims. The sole additional tech factoid revealed at Tokyo is that the car's relatively lightweight but literally bulletproof hydrogen storage tanks have a claimed world's best capacity-to-mass ratio.
The first U.S. appearance of the Toyota FCV Concept is still set for January at the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. While it's not certain we'll find out any more then about the output of the car's electric motor, the look of its passenger compartment or most critically, its pricing, Bob Carter, senior vice president of automotive operations for Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. will discuss how the company plans to handle the FCV's American market launch.
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