Toyota Motor Corporation has been very outspoken about its efforts in producing, transporting, and using hydrogen and carbon-neutral fuel. For this year’s ENEOS Super Taikyu Series, Toyota is racing three vehicles equipped with powertrains that use different fuels. The 2022 Super Taikyu Series team setup includes a hydrogen engine-equipped Corolla, a carbon-neutral fuelled GR86 and a race gasoline GR86.

The hydrogen engine-equipped Corolla competed in four rounds in 2021’s Super Taikyu Series, promoting the development motorsport brings to technology. Between the first round in May of last year and the final round in November, engine performance was improved to levels comparable to gasoline engines, with a 24% increase in power output and 33% increase in torque, along with successful control over abnormal combustion. However, improved cruising range and reduced hydrogen filling time for practical use are still significant issues to address throughout this year.

Also starting this year is a new GR86-based race car that uses carbon-neutral fuel as an attempt to expand internal combustion engine fuel options. The vehicle is powered by a turbocharged 1.4-litre engine developed from the GR Yaris engine and the hydrogen engine-equipped Corolla. The development will be done using contemporary technology rather than new innovations.

ORC ROOKIE Hydrogen-fuelled Toyota Corolla Race car. Credit: Toyota

While carbon dioxide is emitted during combustion in the carbon-neutral GR86, the fuel itself uses carbon dioxide present in the atmosphere, which results in plus/minus zero emissions and can use existing infrastructure and vehicle technology. Though competing this year with Subaru Corporation, another ST-Q class competitor, Toyota hopes to discover any issues, make improvements, and explore the possibility of future practical applications of this fuel. In addition, Toyota will apply the knowledge gained through refining the vehicle during races to the evolution of the Subaru BRZ and GR86 road cars.

The third vehicle, another GR86, will enter from Round 2, the FUJI SUPER TEC 24-Hour Race, under the banner of TOM’S SPIRIT. Closer to a production car than the carbon-neutral fuelled GR86 competing in the ST-Q class, it will be refined through races and apply the findings to develop production models and parts, promoting the making of ever-better motorsports-bred cars.

The bigger picture for Toyota in pursuing these race cars is generating partners in producing, transporting, and using hydrogen and carbon-neutral fuel. In addition to solar power-derived hydrogen from Namie Town (FH2R) in Fukushima Prefecture, the hydrogen engine-powered Corolla uses a supply of hydrogen derived from solar power generation produced in cooperation between Yamanashi Prefecture, Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings, Inc., and Toray Industries, Inc.

Tank racks with resin liners. Credit: Toyota

The Yamanashi Prefecture, Tokyo Electric HD, and Toray produced hydrogen currently used in Yamanashi Prefecture factories. Here, up to 370 Nm3 of hydrogen is produced per hour by electrolysing water with electricity derived from solar power through a P2G (power-to-gas) system at the Komekurayama Electric Power Storage Technology Research Site in Kofu, Yamanashi Prefecture. Yamanashi Prefecture established the Yamanashi Hydrogen Company, Inc., the first in Japan to specialise in P2G systems, in February 2022, together with Tokyo Electric HD and Toray to promote the development of this P2G system in Japan and abroad and to promote the creation of a hydrogen energy society.

Bio-fuel trailers of Toyota Transportation Co., Ltd, and the electric fuel cell trucks of Commercial Japan Partnership Technologies transport the hydrogen for the hydrogen engine-equipped Corolla to the circuits. From now on, CJPT’s fuel cell electric trucks will use racks tanks mounted with lightweight resin liners produced in the manufacture of Toyota’s FCEV MIRAI, enabling high-pressure hydrogen transport. By changing the tanks to those with resin liners, tank pressure can be increased from 20 MPa to 45 MPa, and the amount of hydrogen that can be transported has increased by approximately four times. In addition, Toyota will continue to make improvements to meet the demands of those who need hydrogen in various fields. An aim is to bring tank pressure to 70 MPa and take on the challenge of transporting hydrogen even more efficiently.

Onboard the hydrogen-fuelled Corolla race car, Toyota can control abnormal in-cylinder combustion by precisely controlling fuel injection and efficiently using hydrogen in the tank. As a result, the possible driving distance on a single hydrogen fill-up has been improved by 20% since the last races in 2021. Toyota has started developing a new technology that can convert currently used gaseous hydrogen into liquid hydrogen to improve cruising range even further. If this is eventually achieved, the improved energy density per volume will make it possible to greatly extend cruising distance and expand the options for the state of hydrogen that can be used.

Komekurayama Electric Power Storage Technology Research Site, Yamanashi Prefecture. Credit: Toyota

In 2021, Toyota designed the hydrogen Corolla to allow for filling from both sides and reduced hydrogen filling times with each round. This year, with an eye on expanding the use of hydrogen in the future, it will try “high flow filling,” boosting the pressure rate during filling. Typically, the temperature inside the tank increases rapidly if filled quickly, but Toyota has changed the filling port and piping to handle significant flow rates while ensuring safety to make sure the upper-temperature limit isn’t reached. Using high flow filling and maintaining the method of filling on both sides of the hydrogen engine-equipped Corolla, hydrogen filling time has been shortened from just under two minutes in the previous races to one and a half minutes.

In addition to the hydrogen engine-equipped Corolla and carbon-neutral fuelled GR86, Mazda Motor Corporation’s MAZDA SPIRIT RACING Bio concept DEMIO and Subaru’s Team SDA Engineering BRZ CNF Concept will also participate in the ST-Q class using carbon-neutral fuel. The three companies will exchange information while still competing against each other during the race, increasing technological research speed.

Toyota will continue to work together with many relevant parties to refine vehicles and accelerate development in the strict environment of motorsports, create a wide range of partnerships beyond the industry, and further expand options for producing, transporting, and using hydrogen and carbon-neutral fuels to help achieve a better carbon-neutral society.


Stewart is a degreed engineer, professional technical researcher and engineering journalist with proven experience in producing some of the most comprehensive technical content ever published on some of the most high-profile motorsport technology ever made. He brings his knowledge and experience to Racecar Engineering to enable readers to explore a diverse range of contemporary motorsport technology and engineering phenomena in a plethora of racing disciplines.