Hydrogen GR Yaris makes European debut

Hydrogen GR Yaris

The Hydrogen GR Yaris, or GR Yaris H2, made its European debut in front of crowds at Ypres Rally Belgium, where it tackled some of the event’s course as demonstration runs.

Not only was this the first time for Toyota to drive an under-development hydrogen-engine vehicle on public roads outside Japan, but Toyota President Akio Toyoda was behind the wheel, aided by former Finnish driver and four-time WRC champion Juha Kankkunen in the passenger seat.

Hydrogen GR Yaris H2

The GR Yaris H2 took to the rally course as a test car in Special Stage (SS) 11 on the second day of Ypres Rally Belgium. The 15-kilometer SS 11 was charted along extremely narrow farm roads that ran along fields and between houses, making for a stage that was challenging even for professional championship rally drivers. The GR Yaris served as a test car and ran ahead of a safety car sent out to confirm stage safety before the start of SS 11.

Hydrogen GR Yaris: world debut

Toyota has revealed a hydrogen GR Yaris which showcases an experimental hydrogen-powered combustion engine that was first used earlier this year inside a racing Corolla Sport.

The hydrogen fuel, fuel tanks and refuelling process found in the hydrogen GR Yaris are the same as those in the Mirai. However, while Mirai employs chemical reactions in the fuel cells to generate energy, the experimental GR Yaris features an internal combustion engine with hydrogen as the fuel. 

Hydrogen GR Yaris H2

The hydrogen combustion engine technology is still in the early stages of conceptual development and experimentation, having started in 2017, and is not yet ready for commercialisation. Nonetheless, Toyota’s experimental hydrogen-powered Corolla Sport is already delivering high performance at motorsport events in Japan with almost zero tailpipe emissions. 

The hydrogen-powered experimental GR Yaris and the Corolla Sport both feature the same G16E-GTS, 1.6-litre, in-line 3-cylinder, turbocharged engine that is found in the GR Yaris, but with a modified fuel supply and injection system for use with hydrogen as fuel. 

The experimental hydrogen-powered Corolla Sport has been competing in the Super Taikyu race series in Japan since May this year under the ROOKIE Racing arm of Toyota Gazoo Racing. The team has taken on the challenge to test the experimental hydrogen combustion engine under the harsh environments of motorsport. 

Hydrogen combusts at a faster rate than petrol, resulting in good responsiveness while delivering excellent environmental performance. In addition to being extremely clean, hydrogen combustion has the potential to deliver a fun-to-drive experience with the acoustic and sensory sensations that characterise internal combustion engines. 

Toyota has been strengthening its efforts towards achieving carbon neutrality, such as by aiming to promote the use of hydrogen through the popularisation of FCEVs and numerous other fuel-cell-powered products. By further refining its hydrogen engine technologies through motorsports, it intends to aim for the realisation of an even better hydrogen-based society.


  1. Thank you Toyota.
    Rowing my own gears and hearing the roar of the engine is essential for me when driving, and an all-electric future would kill that off for sure.
    Concepts like these make me look forward to a no-emissions future!
    Best of luck for this project.

  2. I really hope Toyota develop the hydrogen alternative and press for the infrastructure needed to support this e.g. hydrogen fuel points at filling stations

  3. This is utterly fantastic. I’ll be one of the first to buy when they’re released to the public. Best wishes for the project Toyota!

  4. Amazing car and a fantastic concept.
    Good luck with this – because for all a car is primarily a mode of transport – driving IS fun and this looks like it could keep everyone happy.

  5. As a long term Toyota fan and owner (Corolla, Yaris, Avensis, Land Cruser) I just can’t wait for Toyota to develop and market this technology. EVs just don’t cut it!

  6. How do you lubricate such an engine? Or does it lack the moving parts such as pistons? Only had my Corolla 2lt hybrid a week but loving it already. 57.8 mpg achieved yesterday on trip to local wildlife park 🙂

    1. Hi Steve,
      Thanks for your comment and congratulations on your new Corolla.
      What colour and grade did you choose?

  7. So pleased to see a major manufacturer developing Hydrogen power. I personally think the governments have been barking up the wrong tree for decades. I fully accept the value of Hybrids and there will always be a place for self charging Hybrids. I cannot see the point of plugins when you have to fill your fuel tank at extortionate fuel prices and then plug in and get charged for that as well and the energy prices are going through the roof !! And, at what point does the cost of an electric car to buy and recharge become completely uneconomical? Energy prices are closing in on unleaded fuel and unleaded still have better ranges on the whole. Electric cars were supposed to be dropping in price as the years go on and the tech got cheaper but I’m not seeing that in the real world. Beats me as to why but hey …. its the way of the world at the moment and to go full electric in the UK by 2030 just isn’t going to happen. Think of all the terraced houses where you cant park outside your house, flats and apartments where you’ll have communal parking if you’re lucky, city streets that have dwellings where street parking is banned ….. full electric is a pointless exercise in my own humble opinion as its virtually unworkable and there is still far too much “dirty” electricity being produced. The UK infrastructure just can’t support it. To go to Hydrogen is simple. Fuel stations are already there and just need tank and pump delivery conversions and your away. Anyway, enough waffling, I have just bought a Toyota Approved 11mth old Corolla GR Sport Touring in Scarlett Flame and absolutely love it. I wanted a white pearlescent one but when I saw the red it just had to be that one. Completely stunning in the sunlight. It has plenty of tech and gadgets to keep me happy, lovely comfortable and super stylish interior, standard 18″ alloys, the lower stance, aggressive but sporty styling which I love and regular 50+mpg every day which its better around town than on the motorway and that is a feat in itself for a 2.0ltr engine with 180bhp. Big up to Toyota for achieving all of this in their cars. Granted the Hybrid is a completely different animal to drive and took a bit of getting used to find the best way to get the most out of it but I think I’ve achieved this in my short term of ownership and am learning all the time. Absolutely thrilled with my purchase and go on Toyota, please keep developing the Hydrogen combustion engine. I will most definitely be knocking on my dealers door when they hopefully hit the showroom. Either that, or I will be back for another self charging Hybrid in a couple of years whilst I wait for the H2 option. Keep up the great work. (Sorry if I got on a bit of a soapbox but its only my personal opinion. Yes we need to go greener and I am all for that but I don’t think full electric is the way).

  8. Hi Toyota,

    I really hope you can help. I’ve just seen the new GR Yaris facelift is going to be on sale at some point in the UK. I’ve contacted my dealer to register my interest, but I’m concerned it will be an online based ordering system like the GR86, first come first served. Please can you help me to ensure I get my order in? Just for info I’m a current MY21 GR Yaris CP owner and an enthusiast too.

    1. Hi Karl,
      Thanks for your comment.
      It’s great to hear that you are interested in the new GR Yaris, we hope your current GR Yaris is serving you well!
      The UK allocation of the All-New GR Yaris will be limited and further details on the allocation process will be available from March 2024.
      However, in the meantime please visit the following page on our website to subscribe to our newsletter:
      Thank you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

To be the first to hear about all of our latest news, offers and events, check the box below, we’ll send these communications by email, phone, SMS or post. Be assured that Toyota will only share your personal information with companies that are an integral part of fulfilling the services we deliver. If you would like to find out more about how we process your data please visit our privacy policy for details.

I understand that I can unsubscribe at any time.