New Model News

Redesigned 2021 Toyota Mirai gets new sleek styling, 30% more range

The Toyota Mirai has been redesigned for the 2021 model year.

Photo courtesy of Toyota

The 2021 Toyota Mirai is more than just a unique hydrogen-powered sedan. It's evolved to become a thoroughly modern vehicle with a luxury level interior and extended range, complete with an exterior that seamlessly blends in with the rest of the Toyota lineup.

Built on a rear-wheel drive platform, the 2021 Toyota Mirai is the first model year in the second-generation of the hydrogen-powered sedan's lifespan. Toyota is promising that the new model will deliver a "more powerful, engaging, and even quieter driving experience."

2021 Toyota Mirai front face grille The Toyota Mirai has been completely redesigned to be flashier and have a larger range.Photo courtesy of Toyota

The Japanese automaker is boasting about a targeted 30 percent range increase in the new model. The range of the 2020 Toyota Mirai is 312 miles. The increase would put the 2021 model's range around 400 miles.

While the Mirai uses an electric motor to move the Mirai's wheels, the motor is powered by electricity generated when hydrogen is combined with oxygen. This is different than a typical hybrid vehicle powertrain which uses a combination of gasoline and electricity to power a vehicle's wheels. Only water is released by the tailpipe of a hydrogen-powered car, as opposed to the emissions of a typical internal combustion engine car.

2021 Toyota Mirai side wheels The 2021 Mirai has an elongated nose, similar to the design of the Lexus LC.Photo courtesy of Toyota

Unlike a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) or a battery electric vehicle (BEV), the Mirai does not need to be plugged in to get power. Its hydrogen tanks, which are extremely difficult to permeate, are filled up at a fuel pump in a similar fashion to a typical gas station.

The car is being first show wearing available 20-inch alloy wheels and a brand new blue paint job that has never before been featured on a Toyota vehicle.

2021 Toyota Mirai interior The interior of the Mirai is plush and full of luxury level appointments.Photo courtesy of Toyota

Inside, the cabin of the Mirai is modern and plush but fits in line with the current visual aesthetics and material appointments of Toyota and Lexus vehicles. It comes standard with an 8-inch digital combination meter and available digital rearview mirror. A 12.3-inch infotainment touch touch screen is standard, as are a 14-speaker JBL sound system and navigation.

Toyota is boasting that the platform change yields more passenger space than in the previous generation Mirai.

2021 Toyota Mirai interior center console The platform change for the Mirai means that there's more passenger space.Photo courtesy of Toyota.

Pricing for the 2021 Mirai has yet to be announced. The 2019 model starts at $58,500. According to Toyota, currently about 95 percent of Mirais are leased and current lease prices for a Mirai have it priced around $350 per month with just $2,499 due at signing.

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The 2022 Lexus ES will debut next week.

Photo courtesy of Lexus

The meat and potatoes of the Lexus sedan lineup, the ES, is due for a refresh, and it will get one. The 2022 Lexus ES will be shown publicly for the first time this Sunday as part of the festivities of the Shanghai auto show.

While the photo doesn't tell a lot, there's some things you can bet on in the 2022 ES. For starters, look for all the improvements that the auto has gotten over the last two years to carry over into the new model. That includes the addition of all-wheel drive to the lineup and standard blind spot monitor and rear cross traffic alert.

The ES Black Line may not make its way to the 2022 version of the midsize sedan. Generally, blacked out editions are available only at the tail end of a model run ahead of a refresh or generational redesign. However, the blacked out elements could become available as part of a package.

The headlight photo that Lexus has offered as a teaser shows a housing that is not dissimilar to the one that the Lexus IS wears. However, the daytime running light is on the bottom here, instead off the top. Like the IS, there are strong hood lines.

At the back, the preview video shows a vehicle that is very similar to the current model. It's taillights, a strong chrome line that runs the width of the year, and rear lip spoiler all look mostly same as before.

As for what to expect underneath the body of the car, there's not a lot of indication from the teasers, which leads one to believe that's where the biggest changes are coming. There's a good chance that we'll finally say goodbye to the Lexus touch pad in favor of a touch screen display that's within a comfortable distance.

It's also likely that Lexus will fine tune the dynamics of the ES in a similar fashion to how the Lexus IS got more performance-focused driving dynamics in its latest redo.

Stay tuned for more specifics are the curtain is pulled back on April 19 in China (April 18 in the U.S.).

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The WarnerMediaRIDE App provides thousands of hours of streaming content to Toyota and Lexus vehicle owners.

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.

If there's one thing parents want, it's a way to keep kids from fighting in the car. Not only that, it has to work. Toyota and AT&T have teamed up to deliver just such a solution to Toyota and Lexus vehicle owners.

When connected to AT&T in-car Wi-Fi, the WarnerMedia RIDE App allows Toyota and Lexus owners to connect up to five compatible devices to browse, stream and share content from the open road. Passengers can view a rotating selection of live and on-demand content, including thousands of hours of hit TV shows and movies from top channels and services such as Cartoon Network, CNN, HBO Max, and TruTV, spanning animation, news and sports programming and more.

Owners of select 2020 model year and newer Toyota and Lexus vehicles are eligible for a complimentary Wi-Fi data plan trial for up to 90 days. Owners can activate their trial within the Toyota and Lexus owners app.

2021 Toyota Highlander Select Toyota vehicles will get the tech. Expect the Toyota Sienna to be one of them. Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.

"By working with AT&T to provide access to WarnerMedia RIDE, we are reimagining the in-vehicle entertainment experience and ensuring that passengers have access to their favorite content wherever the road may take them," said Steve Basra, group vice president, Toyota Motor North America, Connected Technologies. "We're also excited to offer additional enhancements within our customer app and to provide one resource for our customers to access their in-vehicle features."

"Customers are hungry for access to new experiences with integrated, everywhere connectivity. Our relationship with Toyota is helping us deliver more for our customers – whether they're on a long road trip or short commute," said Joe Mosele, vice president, Mobility & Internet of Things, AT&T Business. "Since the launch of WarnerMedia RIDE, passengers are enjoying their favorite animated friends with 'Looney Tunes', 'Tom & Jerry', and 'The Jetsons' as some of our most watched content."

The WarnerMedia RIDE is available now in the App Store and Google Play for all U.S. unlimited data plan subscribers. WarnerMedia RIDE is included at no additional cost for existing and new unlimited subscribers. The Toyota and Lexus Owner App download is available for iPhone or Android smartphones.

Toyota isn't the only company getting into the streaming game. Stellantis recently announced that select customers will be able to stream Amazon Prime TV programming in their new Jeep Wagoneers.

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