On April 22, as Toyota Times recently reported, Akio and GAZOO Racing Company President Koji Sato announced that Toyota is working on a hydrogen-powered engine and that it intends to test the engine installed on the Corolla Sport (Corolla Hatchback) in a 24-hour endurance race from May 21 to 23.
As explained at the press briefing, it was late 2020 when Akio directed that the hydrogen engine be used in a race. That was only four months ago.
President Sato also mentioned there that the engineers “are undergoing endurance testing of the engine even at this moment” since they have only one month left until the 24-hour race.
To learn how ready the hydrogen engine is, Toyota Times was given a special opportunity to visit the circuit where the Corolla Sport powered by the hydrogen engine was being put through its paces.
Again, this engine is not powered by gasoline, but hydrogen, and it is different from an electric motor drive, as it has the unique vibrating sound of an engine. Take a look at this video to hear for yourself.
As heard in the video, the sound of the hydrogen engine is pretty much like that of a gasoline engine. Racing driver Hiroaki Ishiura, who drove the test vehicle, also shared his impression as follows:
“It’s not as different (from normal gasoline-powered vehicles) as I had expected. It feels like a normal engine. (If I’m not told anything) I’d probably think that this is one normal engine.”
Nothing could have been more reassuring as “normal” in this case, as achieving a regular engine sound without emitting CO2 is anything but normal. It reminded us of the excitement felt when car-lovers hear and feel that familiar “vroom”. Stay tuned for further updates on the hydrogen-powered engine, about which Toyota Times intends to discover more.