Hydrogen Corolla Cross begins testing in Japan

Corolla Cross H2

Toyota’s approach to carbon neutrality is to develop and offer multiple technologies to support widely varying customer needs and market environments around the world. This multi-technology approach – which includes battery electric and fuel cell electric and plug-in hybrid electric and hybrid electric vehicles – is witnessed in the company’s development of a new hydrogen car powered by a hydrogen combustion engine.

Hydrogen Corolla Cross

Toyota firmly believes it is too early to focus on a single zero-emission solution and is therefore concurrently developing hydrogen fuel cell and hydrogen combustion technology alongside battery electric technology. Today’s announcement follows last week’s confirmation that Toyota Motor Manufacturing UK will lead a consortium developing a hydrogen fuel cell version of the Hilux pick-up at its Burnaston car plant in Derbyshire.

Hydrogen combustion development through motorsport

Toyota, through the Rookie Racing Team, has competed in all rounds of Japan’s Super Taikyu endurance touring car series this year with a hydrogen-combustion GR Corolla H2. At each race, Toyota President Akio Toyoda has taken the wheel (under his master driver pseudonym “Morizo”) to evaluate and contribute to the technology’s development.

A Toyota hydrogen-engine vehicle has also been driven on public roads for the first time, with a GR Yaris H2 GR Yaris H2 put through its paces on a demonstration run on the Ypres Rally – a round of the 2022 World Rally Championship – in Belgium.

Hydrogen Corolla Cross

This regular and intense activity has helped accelerate development and technical progress. In the course of one racing season, Toyota has been able to increase hydrogen combustion power by 24 per cent and torque by 33 per cent, achieving a breakthrough that puts dynamic performance on par with a conventional petrol engine.

Furthermore, the driving range has been extended by around 30 per cent and refuelling time reduced from about five minutes to 90 seconds.  Toyota is working with many stakeholders in areas additional to hydrogen usage, including green hydrogen production and transportation, creating a wide range of associations that go beyond the boundaries of the automotive industry to help realise a future carbon-neutral society.

Hydrogen combustion concept vehicle

The technical progress achieved thus far has given Toyota engineers the confidence to create a prototype road car – the Corolla Cross H2 Concept.

This version of the mid-size Corolla SUV* is powered by the 1.6-litre, three-cylinder turbocharged engine featured in the GR Corolla* performance model, re-engineered with high-pressure hydrogen direct injection technology. The prototype is also fitted with hydrogen fuel tanks, packaged with know-how gained from the development of the Toyota Mirai fuel cell electric saloon. The prototype is able to accommodate five passengers and their luggage. Real-world evaluation is being carried out alongside digital development, and the vehicle will soon undergo winter testing in northern Japan.

Hydrogen Corolla Cross

The key merits of hydrogen combustion include the ability to leverage existing internal combustion engine technologies, quick refuelling times and a clear reduction in the use and need for limited-supply resources such as lithium and nickel. Toyota believes that by adapting existing technologies and further leverage of existing investments, hydrogen combustion could lead to widespread, accessible carbon reduction solutions being available sooner.

Today, Toyota is around 40 per cent along the path to the commercialisation of products such as the Corolla Cross H2 Concept. It is not yet possible to say whether the technology will reach maturity for road cars, but there is without a doubt a clear opportunity in motorsport.

* Toyota production models not currently available in the UK.


  1. Hi, I have been waiting for the Corolla Cross Hybrid to be released in the UK for some months now. I’ve just been in Taiwan and noted that the Corolla Cross is a big hit there. Many of the yellow taxis are already Corolla Cross’s and the car is everywhere on the roads. I’ve driven in a taxi and privately and have been to a local dealership in Pingtung. I love the car. I have a Rav4 Hybrid right now but find the car too chunky. A C-HR has no boot and is too small. So the Corolla Cross fits right in the middle and would be my choice of car. It’s been alreadyreleased in many other countries in Europe as well as the US, Australia and widely across Asia. Why not the UK? Has Toyota decided not to introduce this car here? It would be a shame.

    1. Hi Christoph, thanks for your comment.

      We appreciate you taking the time to leave your feedback.

      Currently, we have no infomation on the Corolla Cross. Please keep an eye on our blog and social media channels for the latest information.


      1. Another vote to Corolla Cross for the UK here. Ideally with a plug in hybrid option and 4WD.

  2. I agree with Christoph. I too find my RAV4 Hybrid a bit chunky; the Yaris Cross is not powerful enough and the CHR does not have enough boot space. I have test driven the Corolla Cross Hybrid in Germany but it is not practical for me to buy a left hand drive car and import it to the UK. I was gutted when my local Toyota Dealer gave me the news that my preferred choice of car is unlikely to be available as a right hand drive/in the UK.

  3. Hello,

    How does the fuel usage of the combustion engine vehicle (in km/kgH2) compare with the fuel cell version? I’m guessing the combustion engine version will be lighter than the fuel-cell version, so will aid fuel economy?

    1. Hi Mike, thanks for your question.

      We cannot comment on this, as it is not a UK specification vehicle.


  4. Why is is Ireland you can buy a corolla cross and not here? It does not make sense yaris to small, RAV4 to big. Look at honda ZRV. Toyota needs to start selling the corolla cross soon.

      1. Yes there is a RHD version for (Republic of) Ireland, I have one (1.8 hybrid) since July 2023.
        Made in Japan, but a long (3 months+) waiting list here in Ireland – they are snapped up as soon as they arrive as they are very much in demand.
        (same comment as others : Corolla Cross is the ideal size for me: RAV4 is too big, C-HR boot is too small and its rear seat is too claustrophobic. I had a 2021 Corolla Touring Sports Hybrid and it was great economically, but roof height is too shallow in boot and rear seat, especially middle seat)

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