Lexus RX 450h front4
Lexus is well on the way to putting a hydrogen fuel cell car on sale by 2020. The model would follow in the footsteps of the Toyota Mirai, the world’s first commercially available fuel cell car, but bring levels of performance and luxury befitting the Lexus badge.
Alain Uyttenhoven, head of Lexus Europe, told Auto Express that Lexus is adapting the hydrogen-fuelled technology developed by parent company Toyota and that there are only a few hurdles left to overcome.
“The problem is packaging the technology into a normal sized car,” he told us. “It will fit into an SUV. We just need to get the right level of performance for a premium car.”
These comments would indicate that the we can expect a significant power boost over what’s offered from the hydrogen fuel cell powertrain in the Mirai. The Toyota delivers 152bhp from its electric motors, yielding a 0-62mph time of 9.6s and a 111mph top speed.
If we take the latest Lexus RX450h hybrid as a benchmark for the level of performance Lexus might be looking for in an SUV, the hydrogen tech would need to boast nearer to 300bhp. The RX450h offers 308bhp and 0-62mph in 7.7s, with a 124mph top speed.
Uyttenhoven is confident that Lexus can reach the target for fleet CO2 emissions using this, and other existing technologies. “We will reach the 95g/km target by 2021 without plug-in hybrids” he said.