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Toyota previews production-bound hydrogen-powered sedan

by Ronan Glon

The yet-unnamed sedan will go on sale across the United States next summer.

Toyota has published the first official images of its production-bound hydrogen-powered sedan. The car is called simply Fuel Cell Vehicle (FCV) internally but it will adopt a different moniker when it lands in U.S. showrooms in about a year.

The FCV is nearly identical to the FCV concept that was presented at last year's edition of the Tokyo Motor Show. Stretching 191 inches long, 71 inches wide and 60 inches tall, the FCV wears a highly futuristic design defined by thin headlights, oversized air dams in the front bumper, a tall belt line and tail lamps mounted beneath a full-width LED light bar.

The Japanese-spec version of the FCV will offer a maximum driving range of 300 miles, and the hydrogen tanks will take no more than three minutes to fully refill. Although far from a sports sedan, the FCV will be able to reach 60 mph from a stop in a respectable ten seconds.

The Toyota FCV will go on sale across Japan in April of 2015 with a base price of ¥7 million, a sum that converts to nearly $70,000. Pricing information and full details about the U.S.-spec model will emerge in weeks leading up to its debut.

Toyota has previously announced the FCV will be initially introduced in California because the Golden State has committed $200 million to building 20 new hydrogen filling stations by next year. Officials predict the state will boast approximately 100 public hydrogen filling stations by the year 2024.

What's Next?Inspired by the surprising success of the first-generation Prius, Toyota sees the FCV as a stepping stone towards the widespread acceptance of hydrogen-powered cars all around the world. The FCV will undoubtedly cater to a niche audience but the Japanese automaker expects demand to quickly rise, and it believes it will sell tens of thousands fuel cell-equipped cars a year in the 2020s.

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