Turbocharged Toyota Corolla Cross H2 Hydrogen Concept Has A GR Corolla Heart


Toyota is one of several carmakers convinced that there’s no single zero-emissions solution to the world’s clean fuel quest. While some rivals are throwing all their efforts behind electric power, Toyota is developing both hydrogen fuel cell and hydrogen-powered combustion engines alongside EVs and hybrids.

We’ve already read about Toyota’s racing exploits with a hydrogen-fuelled GR Corolla and now the carmaker has transplanted that tech into a more practical five-seat SUV to create the Toyota Corolla Cross H2 hydrogen concept.

The prototype features a hydrogen tank from Toyota’s Mirai sedan. But where the Mirai is a fuel cell vehicle that turns hydrogen into electricity, this concept uses a conventional combustion engine adapted to run on hydrogen instead of gasoline. The engine is the 1.6-liter turbocharged triple from the hot GR Corolla, whose power Toyota was able to increase by 24 percent during the course of the Super Taikyu racing season, eventually matching the 300 hp (304 PS) of a gas-powered GR Corolla. The Cross concept even has a six-speed manual transmission, just like the hot hatch.

Related: The 2023 Toyota GR Corolla Finally Gets A Configurator, What Does Yours Look Like?

Toyota doesn’t mention any performance figures for the hydrogen Cross, but based on the hatch’s 5-second to 60 mph (97 km/h) numbers, we’d guess the heavier SUV should still be good for 6 seconds, which would make it a pretty stealthy family crossover if it ever made it to production.

As yet there’s no date for that event, Toyota claiming it is “around 40 percent” along the path to putting vehicles like the H2 Corolla Cross in showrooms. But the company clearly believes hydrogen has a future, highlighting its quick refueling times and the fact that, unlike EVs, hydrogen-powered combustion cars don’t rely on materials like lithium and nickel, which can leave the planet in a mess when they’re mined.


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