The first impression immediately conveys that this Mirai is no ordinary Toyota. Its design is much more pleasing to European tastes than that of its predecessor – and it is bigger, fancier, and more refined than the Mirai 1. This impression is underlined by the statement of the director of the Berlin representative office of Toyota Motor Europe, Ferry Franz, that this model was actually supposed to be a Lexus.
The core market of Toyota’s luxury brand Lexus has been Asia; in Europe, it sold merely 70,000 cars last year. Despite the headwinds, Lexus is increasingly becoming a serious alternative for many buyers, even though – or maybe precisely because – 98 per cent of its vehicles are hybrids. Alain Uyttenhoven, head of Lexus Europe, said: “When customers come in to pick up their Lexus