This Is What Toyota’s Hydrogen Combustion-Engine Racecar Sounds Like

Toyota is going racing with a hydrogen combustion engine, mainly as an experiment and continuation

Toyota is going racing with a hydrogen combustion engine, mainly as an experiment and continuation of Toyota’s somewhat unhinged obsession with hydrogen. Still, I think you will agree that it sounds good.

Which is to say that it sounds like a car:

This video is courtesy of Toyota Times, which is some combination of a publication for Toyota fans/promotional content for Toyota/star vehicle for the Japanese actor Teruyuki Kagawa. And no, I don’t understand the existence of Toyota Times either.

Still, Toyota previously said a three-cylinder hydrogen combustion engine would power a car based on the Corolla Sport at the Super Taikyu Series 2021 Powered by Hankook Round 3 NAPAC Fuji Super TEC 24 Hours Race, which you should try to say three times fast. That race is May 21-23, and this appears to be that car.

Toyota Times was also able to reveal the following:

Racing driver Hiroaki Ishiura, who drove the test vehicle, also shared his impression as follows:

“It’s not as different (from normal gasoline-powered vehicles) as I had expected. It feels like a normal engine. (If I’m not told anything) I’d probably think that this is one normal engine.”

Nothing could have been more reassuring as “normal” in this case, as achieving a regular engine sound without emitting CO2 is anything but normal. It reminded us of the excitement felt when car-lovers hear and feel that familiar “vroom.” Stay tuned for further updates on the hydrogen-powered engine, about which Toyota Times intends to discover more.

I, too, intend to discover more about this hydrogen combustion engine powered car. Here’s a short video from Toyota on how the engine works:

Hydrogen combustion engines are nothing new, of course, but have generally not been used because the way they generate power isn’t as efficient as gas engines, themselves already not very efficient. Also, the environmental benefits of a hydrogen combustion engine aren’t as good as fuel cell, as a hydrogen combustion engine emits not only water vapor but also nitrogen oxides, or NOx.

Still, I appreciate Toyota doing this, more or less for the hell of it, as many an automaker could stand to loosen its collar.