Toyota’s liquid hydrogen-fuelled internal combustion engine (ICE) powered GR Corolla was given its first test run on a racetrack in Japan last month (February 23), the company revealed on Thursday (March 9).
Taking to the Fuji Speedway in Oyama, Shizuoka for the Super Taikyu Series, the test marked the car’s first public appearance, as well as the first time for a manufacturer vehicle, powered by liquid hydrogen to hit the racetrack.
Running over three sessions on the day, the test simulated real race conditions, while sharing the track with other cars and refuelling within designated times.
Although developments of the liquid hydrogen-fuelled Corolla are ongoing, Toyota are hopeful to compete in the 2023 Super Taikyu season, due to kick off later this month, to accelerate efforts to expand fuel options to pursuit carbon-neutral mobility.
“We’re fighting to create a future for the internal combustion engine by tackling technology deemed unfeasible for cars, in the uncharted territory of -253oC,” said Driver, Masahiro Sasaki.
He continued, “While various hurdles still remain, as with gaseous hydrogen, we hope that our agile development on the racetrack will feed back into everyday cars.”
Toyota has previously run gaseous hydrogen-fuelled ICE Corollas during the Super Taikyu Series. The company’s President, Akio Toyoda, also took to the wheel of a hydrogen-powered GR Yaris for a demonstration run during the ninth round of the 2022 World Rally Championships in Belgium.
Read more: Toyota uses hydrogen-powered Corolla at Super Taikyu Series 2021
Read more: Toyota President takes on WRC stage in hydrogen-powered Yaris
Toyota say by running the race car on liquid hydrogen it boosts energy density per unit volume, increasing driving range, and eliminates the need for tanks to be pressurised, offering a chance to have fuel tanks shaped conveniently for under-floor mounting.
The liquid hydrogen-fuelled GR Corolla has been in development for a year, after Toyota revealed it was pursuing the route in March 2022. In June last year, the team exhibited an onboard system and mobile liquid hydrogen refuelling station.
Additionally, Toyota has said that by switching from gas to liquid it allows for more compact mobile refuelling infrastructure, reducing the size of transport trucks and eliminating the need for facilities that boost pressure up to 70MPa.
Moving forward, the company has said it will focus on challenges such as maintaining ultra-low temperatures during refuelling and storage, and dealing with vaporisation as tanks heat up.
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