The Toyota Fuel Cell Vehicle (FCV) participated in the Shinshihiro Rally as the Zero Car. It was the final race of the Japanese Rally Championship that was held last October 31 to November 2 in Shinshiro, Aichi, although the FCV was not competing.
The FCV rolled through the race track to check road safety. Just the same, it was outfitted with a roll cage, suspension tuning, mud guards, under guard and race seat. It completed the 285 kilometer (177 mile) circuit without incident nor fuss running nearly at the race pace. Unlike the participating cars that screamed with petroleum fed engines, the FCV ran silently as it dashed through the course. Toyota’s top two executives, President Akio Toyoda and Vice President Mitsuhisa Kato, were around to watch as their future bet drove through the grueling, muddy track.
The FCV will be launched in Japan by April 2015 and in the US and in Europe by summer. If it will be the Japanese automaker’s sales hero in a few years is anybody’s guess.