Hydrogen GR Corolla & Carbon-Neutral GR86 Competing in Japan’s Super Taikyu Series

Alexi Falson

Toyota has confirmed that a revised version of its hydrogen-powered GR Corolla, as well as a GR86 tweaked to run on carbon-neutral fuel will be competing in the ENEOS Super Taikyu Series 2023.

More specifically, Toyota says that its #32 ORC ROOKIE GR Corolla H2 Concept and the #28 ORC ROOKIE GR86 CNF will enter the five-hour race at the Autopolis racecourse in Oita Prefecture In a further proof of concept of its emerging clean powertrain technologies.

Toyota says that it has made a series of improvements to both cars, with the hydrogen-powered Corolla picking up a new and more durable hydrogen pump, weight reductions of 40kg – with it now tipping the scales at 1910kg – and faster refilling infrastructure.

The CNF GR86, which runs on carbon-neutral fuel, was entered into the third round of the series, with Toyota making some changes to ensure the fuel doesn’t dilute the engine oil.

Toyota says it has adjusted the composition of the fuel for optimal combustion to avoid impacting the oil’s performance and engine lubrication.

Interestingly, this isn’t the first time Toyota has thrown its hydrogen-powered Corolla on a circuit.

It first launched the zero-emissions Corolla in a 24-hour endurance race which saw it drive in excess of 1500kms; though the company spent 12 hours of the 24-hour event repairing it in the pits.

Earlier this year, Toyota’s H2 Corolla concept was forced out of the first round of the Super Taikyu Series at the iconic Suzuka Circuit after a reported vehicle fire.

It’s important to remember that rather than a hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle – which is effectively an electric vehicle – with juice for electric motors supplied by the chemical reaction, Toyota’s design powers an internal combustion engine via hydrogen.

The Corolla H2 Concept features the 1.6-litre turbo three-cylinder engine from the GR Yaris. Instead of running on petrol, it runs on hydrogen, with combustion providing the power through the crankshaft like a conventional petrol/diesel engine.

Toyota has extracted similar power outputs from the H2 Corolla to that of the GR Yaris, meaning outputs of around 200kW/370Nm from the 1.6-litre turbocharged three-cylinder.

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