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December 6, 2022

Toyota Just Shoehorned The GR Yaris's 1.6-liter Turbo Into The Corolla Cross

Showing that there’s more than one way (electrification) towards carbon neutrality, Toyota shoehorned the GR Yaris / GR Corolla’s turbocharged engine into the Corolla Cross.

Not only has Toyota successfully shown the flexibility of its platform, but even more important is what is fueling the 1.6-liter 3-cylinder G16E-GTS: they managed to make it run on hydrogen as a combustion fuel. This is an atypical way to use hydrogen since others use it to power a fuel cell. In the case of this experimental Corolla Cross though, hydrogen is actually burned as a fuel, replacing typical fossil fuels like gasoline or diesel.

According to Toyota, there are several merits to using hydrogen combustion including the ability to leverage existing internal combustion engine technologies, quick refueling times, and the reduction in the use for limited supply elements like lithium and nickel.

Now, this isn’t the first time Toyota’s managed to run a hydrogen fueled car. They successfully ran it over the course of one Super Taikyu racing season in Japan. Through its participation in motorsport, they’ve managed to improve its combustion power by 24 percent and torque by 33 percent. Furthermore, range has been extended by around 30% and refueling time reduced from approximately five minutes to one and a half minutes.

From there, the Corolla Cross H2 Concept brings the track-proven technology to the real-world. Using a high-pressure hydrogen direct injection engine technology and hydrogen tank packaging know-how from the Mirai, this concept can now transport five passengers and their luggage.

Toyota says that real-world evaluation is currently being carried out alongside ongoing digital development, with the vehicle soon to begin winter testing in northern Japan.

The carmaker says they’re around 40 percent along the path to commercialization of products such as the Corolla Cross H2 Concept. It is not yet possible to say if the technology will reach maturity for road cars, but there is without doubt a clear opportunity in motorsports.

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