Honda is planning to unveil its new fuel cell vehicle at the Tokyo Motor Show on Wednesday; a day ahead of the big reveal, the company invited journalists to its Research and Development Center outside the city for a sneak peek.
Known tentatively as the FCV, the four-door sedan's fuel cell system is now small enough to fit under the hood. It takes up no more space than a typical V6 engine, Forbes notes. It relies on two hydrogen storage tanks - a smaller one under the rear seat and a larger one behind the rear bulkhead that cuts into trunk space.
The vehicle's lithium-ion battery, meanwhile, resides under the front seats.
Filled to the brim with just shy of five kilograms of hydrogen, the car is rated to travel a little over 300 miles based on the EPA's rating system. A refill takes just three minutes although finding a hydrogen station won't be easy early on.
This isn't Honda's first fuel cell-powered vehicle. The FCX Clarity, which entered production in 2008 before reaching end-of-life status this year, was much more expensive to manufacture, less efficient and less powerful. Ultimately, the company built less than 75 units.
Honda's latest doesn't go on sale until late next year. No word yet on pricing or potential availability although Honda did say it plans to build up to 1,200 vehicles a year.
All images courtesy Top Gear