The Toyota Fuel Cell Sedan doesn't go on sale until next year, but it's already made its motorsport debut.

Sort of.

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The hydrogen fuel-cell car was "featured" in the final round of the 2014 Japanese Rally Championship over the weekend, where it ran the course but didn't try for a competitive time.

Instead, the Fuel Cell Sedan drove the entire course--consisting of both paved roads and dirt trails--as part of a pre-race safety check.

Toyota FCV rally car

Toyota FCV rally car

Located in Japan's Aichi Prefecture, the rally took place over 177 miles, highlighting the estimated 310 miles of range per tankful of compressed hydrogen in the fuel-cell vehicle.

The Toyota Fuel Cell Sedan--which will most likely get its own model name, rumored to be "Mirai"--will go on sale in its home market "before April 2015," Toyota says.

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Launches in the U.S. and Europe will follow in the summer of 2015. Assembly-line production is expected to start next month.

We'll see if any of those first owners decide to take their cars rallying, but with an output of just 134 horsepower from its electric motor, the Fuel Cell Sedan doesn't seem ideally suited to racing.

In Japan, the hydrogen fuel-cell Toyota will carry a pricetag of around 7 million yen (about $62,700 at current exchange rates) before taxes. U.S. pricing and detailed specifications will be released at a later date.

Toyota will will only sell the car to customers living in regions with substantial hydrogen fueling infrastructure.

That will limit U.S. sales to California for the time being.


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