The Toyota Prius hybrid started out as a single model, but it grew into an entire "family" with the outgoing third generation.

The original Prius Liftback spawned the Prius C subcompact, Prius V tall wagon, and the Prius Plug-In Hybrid.

While it's unclear whether all of these models will return as part of the fourth-generation Prius lineup, what if Toyota tried the same strategy with a different green car?

DON'T MISS: 2016 Toyota Mirai Fuel-Cell Sedan: 312 Miles Of Range, 67 MPGe

The Toyota Mirai hydrogen fuel cell car is being built in limited numbers for now, but could it sustain a Prius-like "family?"

That's the hope of chief engineer Yoshikazu Tanaka, who said he would like to see the Mirai "procreate" into multiple models in a recent interview with Autocar.

Tanaka did not propose any specific models, but an anonymous source told the British publication that hatchback, wagon, crossover, or minivan variants could all be considered if Toyota decides to go this route.

2016 Toyota Mirai construction at Motomachi plant

2016 Toyota Mirai construction at Motomachi plant

So far though, Toyota hasn't given any indication that it plans to move beyond the current four-door sedan.

Tanaka also noted that it will likely be 10 or 20 years before fuel-cell cars achieve sales volumes similar to today's hybrids.

He also said that finding clean sources of hydrogen is still an issue.

ALSO SEE: Toyota Tackles Hydrogen Fueling Challenges As Mirai Launch Approaches: UPDATED

Extracting hydrogen from renewable sources is largely possible, but is currently too expensive, he said.

Comprehensive hydrogen fueling infrastructure will be necessary to sustain one fuel-cell model, let alone a family of related models.

And Toyota would have to significantly up the pace of fuel-cell car production.

2016 Toyota Mirai U.S. arrival

2016 Toyota Mirai U.S. arrival

Toyota hopes to sell just 200 Mirai sedans in the U.S. in the first year, and 3,000 by the end of 2017.

All production will take place at the low-volume Motomachi Plant in Japan, which previously built the Lexus LFA supercar.

MORE: Low-Volume Assembly Line For Toyota Mirai Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Car

Initially, the Mirai will only be available through eight dealers in California.

Order books have been open since July, and Toyota expects to deliver the first cars to California customers this month.


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