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Toyota Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Car: 2013 Tokyo Motor Show Preview

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Toyota FCV concept, Tokyo Motor Show 2013

Toyota FCV concept, Tokyo Motor Show 2013

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Toyota is serious about hydrogen fuel cell cars, and to prove it the company will unveil a new fuel cell concept at the upcoming Tokyo Motor Show.

Called the FCV, Toyota's new concept is the clearest hint at what its fuel cell production car--due in 2015--might look like.

It's certainly less science-fiction than the FCV-R concept rolled out at numerous auto shows over the past few years. The midsize FCV-R was Toyota's first hint that it was working on a production hydrogen vehicle, and recent tweaks to the concept clarified Toyota's direction for the eventual road-going vehicle.

The FCV concept due at Tokyo is much closer to Toyota's current styling language, while retaining an identity of its own.

At the front, a large grille design remains, but unlike the FCV-R's unusual mustache-like details the FCV flanks the center grille with two enormous side grilles. A Prius-like roofline remains but the FCV concept appears glassier than the FCV-R, with a "floating roof" effect.

Toyota says the car's flowing side styling "conveys the air-to-water transformation [in fuel cells] with its flowing-liquid door profile and wave-motif fuel cap". Indeed.

The rear end is apparently reminiscent of a catamaran's stern and the flow of water behind. And if you'd not noticed, the color is rather watery too.

Toyota promises a range of around 300 miles from its fuel cell setup and refueling times of around three minutes. The company also hints at some kind of car-to-home power setup, suggesting a fully-fueled FCV could meet the energy needs of the average Japanese home for more than a week.

Head over to our full Tokyo Motor Show page for more cars from the event, which runs from November 20 to December 1.

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