“Roads? Where we going we don’t need roads,” so said Dr. Emmett Brown, played by wild-haired Christopher Lloyd in Back to the Future.
Thirty years ago, Back to the Future aired for the first time, rocketing Marty McFly and the DeLorean to fame. In honor of both the film’s anniversary and the upcoming release of the 2016 Toyota Mirai, Toyota has partnered with the Back to the Future franchise to promote the Mirai, available at select Toyota dealers by the end of this month. For now, distribution will be limited, but not for long.
Back to the Future co-creator and producer, Bob Gale, explained the unique quality of this connection. “While there are a lot of brands and activations that are celebrating the Back to the Future milestone, Toyota stands apart for their nod to the future and the past with the auto technology depicted in the movies.”
The brand promotion is especially ingenious when you consider that Mirai is Japanese for “The Future.”
Read on to see what the future has in store…and scope out some throwback cinematic moments while you’re at it.
Reunited! Marty McFly and Doc Discuss The Future As We Know It
After teaming up for what became the Back to the Future trilogy, Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd are reunited. Just to refresh your memory, this is where it all began…
In this teaser ad called, “Diner,” Marty McFly, played by Michael J. Fox, and Christopher Lloyd, resurrecting the role of Doc, look back on which of the predictions made in Back to the Future have come true and discuss which ones we’re still waiting for.
This is an old game for the two, according to Fox, “Over the years we’ve had a lot of fun predicting which Back to the Future fictional 2015 technology would arrive by the real year. Now that we’re a week away, I think fans are going to have a good time with what Toyota sees a true possibility for transportation. It’s actually really cool.”
It really is, and it’s looking like more than a transportation possibility, but a viable option sooner than later.
While technology like self-tying sneakers and dog walking robots is evidently still in the works; Doc reminds McFly that we do have 3D movies and, much to McFly’s surprise, fax machines are still around.
Even more surprising, Doc has one…and still uses it, which opens him up to all kinds of teasing from his former protege.
See for yourself…
A full commercial is set to air on October 21, the day after the Mirai’s official release party. During that celebration, Toyota will also reveal a Tacoma that has been built as a replica of the dream truck Marty McFly is pining for in the film.
According to Gale, “When Toyota approached us about helping tell a bigger story about the future and innovation with the Mirai, we loved the direction – and who can resist Marty’s retro Toyota truck?”
But, for now, let me take you through the futuristic Toyota creation that is the 2016 Mirai…aka, “The Future.”
The 2016 Toyota Mirai – THIS Is What the Future Looks Like!
Brand new, as in for the first time ever, the 2016 Toyota Mirai drives with hydrogen fuel-cell technology, which offers the best of electric car technology, minus the need for a charging cord.
Toyota is confident that the Mirai represents the initial ray signaling a new dawn for the automobile industry.
The promise of hydrogen fuel cells is that they are smaller, lighter, and more affordable than other alternative fuel technologies to date. And, it crushes electric cars with respect to its range, which is rated at a whopping 300 miles.
Until more public hydrogen stations are built, sales of the Mirai will be restricted to California, but Toyota has already set its sights on sales in the Northeast, as soon as more stations between New Jersey and Massachusetts are constructed.
The 2016 Toyota Mirai At a Glance
Okay, so given that it’s brand new, it should come as no surprise that the Mirai is a single trim, four-door sedan, able to accommodate four passengers.
I’m still waiting for actual confirmation from Toyota, regarding the Mirai’s equipment, but I have it on good authority that the 2016 Mirai should have LED headlights, dual-zone automatic climate control, cruise control, eight-way heated power and lumbar-adjustable front seats, which are complemented by a heated tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a neoprene-like cloth interior, heated back seats, rearview camera, eight-inch color touchscreen display, Bluetooth connectivity for phone and audio, satellite radio, and navigation, which includes a finder for fuel stations (handy!), as well as auxiliary/USB ports.
The center console is unusual, reminiscent of sci-fi journeys into space. Located atop the center stack, on the two-tiered dashboard, all the instrumentation is found there, with absolutely no instruments, gauges, or controls behind the steering wheel, which is where drivers traditionally expect to find them.
But, with the 2016 Toyota Mirai, it’s a good idea to abandon expectations and open your mind to this new automotive frontier.
Toyota will offer 24-hour roadside service, 24-hour concierge service, as well as an 8-yr./100,000-mile warranty on the fuel cell components, and three complimentary years of maintenance as standard support for Mirai drivers.
Ready for Take Off…
Equipped with a front-mounted electric motor, sending 151 horsepower to the front wheels, returning 247 lb.-ft. of torque, the 2016 Toyota Mirai’s 1.6-kWh nickel-metal hydride battery is stored behind the back seats and retains some of the fuel cells’ power in case you need a sudden surge of power.
According to testing done by Toyota, the Mirai reaches sixty mph from a standstill in approximately nine seconds, with maximum speeds measured at 111 mph.
To give you some understanding of how hydrogen fuel cells compare to traditional fuel economy, 1 kilogram of hydrogen equals the amount of energy delivered by 1 gallon of gasoline.
So, given that the Mirai can cover 300 miles on 5 kilograms or 11 pounds of hydrogen, it’s fuel economy equivalent is approximately 60 mpg.
Inside “The Future”
Toyota gave the Mirai its high-end Lexus treatment, enriching the interior with soft-touch surfaces and an elegant finish. The interior is reportedly roomy, no matter where you’re seated.
Storage is provided up front by a center console and the rear cabin has its own hideaway space located within the armrest between the two seats.
Another perk of hydrogen fuel cell technology is that both the trunk and cabin space is spared by the lack of battery or fuel tank. Granted this doesn’t mean the trunk is especially big, but it does have enough space for shopping bags from daily errands.
Riding in the 2016 Toyota Mirai is reported to be a pleasant and smooth experience, comfortable and quiet. It won’t rip up the pavement, like say, McFly’s Delorean, but, of course, it’s not designed to.
However, it was designed to make an entrance, and its unique, unmistakable exterior does exactly that.
And it’s certainly safer!
The 2016 Toyota Mirai comes with front and rear side airbags, antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control, as well as a rearview camera, all of which are standard passive safety features.
Standard active features are found in the adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitor, lane-departure alert, and frontal collision system equipped with automatic braking capability.
The Mirai is also outfitted with specially-designed hydrogen sensors that alert and turn off the stop valves in the hydrogen tanks if a hydrogen leak has been detected.
“Let’s Go Places” in the 2016 Toyota Mirai. While we’re driving the future, I say we go “Back in Time.” Cue Huey Lewis and the News…