Frankfurt preview: Toyota FCV-R concept

The FCV-R previews a production-bound hydrogen-powered vehicle.

Toyota will travel to next month's Frankfurt Motor Show to unveil an evolution of the FCV-R concept that debuted in Tokyo in 2011. The concept is powered by a hydrogen drivetrain that emits only water vapor.

Stretching 186 inches long, 59 inches tall and 70 inches wide, the Frankfurt-bound FCV-R will likely look roughly the same as the model that was presented in Tokyo but it will be completely different under the skin. The show car will be powered by a close-to-production hydrogen-electric hybrid drivetrain consisting of a fuel cell, high-pressure hydrogen tanks and the same Hybrid Synergy Drive technology that is found in gasoline-electric Toyota hybrids such as the Prius.

By using a fuel cell with a high power density and a 21-kilowatt lithium-ion electric battery pack, Toyota engineers have managed to give the FCV-R a total driving range of 420 miles.

The technology found under the skin of the FCV-R will reach showrooms in the United States, in Europe and in Japan in 2015. Unlike the Honda FCX Clarity, Toyota's yet-unnamed hydrogen-powered car will be a regular-production model available in all 50 states.

Toyota sees the model as a stepping stone towards the widespread acceptance of hydrogen-powered cars all around the world. Its first model will cater largely to a niche audience but the automaker expects to sell tens of thousands fuel cell-equipped cars a year in the 2020s.

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