Toyota claims that it started experimenting with hydrogen combustion technology back in 2017 and underlines the fact that this technology is not yet ready for commercialization. However, the Japanese marque has pledged to continue the development of this unit under the hood of the Corolla Sport in the Super Taikyu race series in Japan.
The Corolla Sport that is employed in that championship comes with the same G16E-GTS engine that is available on the GR Yaris. However, the unit has been modified to allow it to run on hydrogen instead of gasoline.
The Japanese manufacturer has not specified the output of this unit when it runs on hydrogen, but evaluating it in motorsport brings a ray of hope regarding its performance.
While hydrogen-powered vehicles are available for sale today in some markets, this concept based on the GR Yaris does not operate on the same principle.
If it is not clear by now, this model comes with an internal combustion engine based on the production spec of the G16E-GTS, and it burns hydrogen instead of having it pass through a fuel cell as it happens in Toyota's Mirai.
Toyota is not the first brand to experiment with burning hydrogen instead of gasoline in an internal combustion engine. Companies like Mazda, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz, just to name a few, have tested the idea in the past few years. Some of them experimented with hydrogen instead of gasoline decades ago.
Unfortunately, conventional vehicles are not able to run on hydrogen at a moment's notice, as they require a special tank, extensive modifications to their fuel system, and other changes to allow them to use hydrogen as fuel.
Regardless, it is interesting to see a different technology being experimented with, in an attempt to find future power sources for the vehicles of tomorrow.