Toyota developing hydrogen IC engine . . .  for racing

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 26 Apr 2021


The in-line 3-cylinder turbo engine with intercooler, with 1618cc displacement, uses compressed hydrogen.

Toyota, which has been among the earliest among global automakers to bet big on a hydrogen and fuel-cell-driven future, has announced development of a hydrogen engine. . . albeit for racing purposes.

It has installed the engine on a racing vehicle based on Toyota's Corolla Sport, which it will enter in competition under the ORC Rookie Racing banner starting with the Super Taikyu Series 2021 Powered by Hankook Round 3 NAPAC Fuji Super TEC 24 Hours Race on May 21-23.

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By honing its under-development hydrogen engine in the harsh environment of motorsports, Toyota says it aims to contribute to the realisation of a sustainable and prosperous mobility society.

Fuel cell electrified vehicles (FCEVs) such as Toyota's Mirai use a fuel cell in which hydrogen chemically reacts with oxygen in the air to produce electricity that powers an electric motor. Meanwhile, hydrogen engines generate power through the combustion of hydrogen using fuel supply and injection systems that have been modified from those used with gasoline engines. Except for the combustion of minute amounts of engine oil during driving, which is also the case with gasoline engines, hydrogen engines emit zero CO2 when in use.

Combustion in hydrogen engines occurs at a faster rate than in gasoline engines, resulting in a characteristic of good responsiveness. While having excellent environmental performance, hydrogen engines also have the potential to relay the fun of driving, including through sounds and vibrations, says the Japanese carmaker.

Toyota, which has long engaged in the innovation of engine technology, is applying in production vehicles the technologies that it has continued to refine through its participation in motorsports. The GR Yaris launched last September is one example.

Plans are for the hydrogen-engine-powered race vehicle to be fueled during races using hydrogen produced* at the Fukushima Hydrogen Energy Research Field in Namie Town, Fukushima Prefecture.

Toward achieving carbon neutrality, Toyota has been strengthening its efforts, such as by aiming to promote the use of hydrogen through the popularisation of FCEVs and numerous other fuel-cell-powered products.

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