Last weekend in Okayama, the Super Taiku series chose to display alternative fuel ideas from their top manufacturers. With all the headlines about new electric cars & trucks, let us see why Japan is still fascinated by hydrogen. 

toyota, lexus, hydrogen, honda, tuning month, yamaha
toyota, lexus, hydrogen, honda, tuning month, yamaha
toyota, lexus, hydrogen, honda, tuning month, yamaha
toyota, lexus, hydrogen, honda, tuning month, yamaha
toyota, lexus, hydrogen, honda, tuning month, yamaha

As a perfect conclusion for #tuningmonth, Yamaha has once again raised the bar for internal combustion. Yes, their focus is on musical instruments, but they have also built amazing engines along the way. Their latest creation was captured by LOVECARS!TV, and you do not need subtitles to see how much potential it has.

Needing a solid starting point, this 5-liter V8 is based on the Lexus 2UR found in the RC-F. Yamaha has had a guiding hand across all Lexus & Toyota high-performance engines for decades. It began with the 2000GT back in 1964, an iconic secret project that wouldn’t be released for another three years.

The LS400 has proven to be indestructible, as has the V10 heart of the LFA. Their goal for this project was to offer the perfect “midship sports & emotional sound” for your supercar. Using eight equal-length exhaust runners, it most certainly looks the part. Reverse-flow cylinder heads add a European flair, but the A/C compressor was deleted in the process.

toyota, lexus, hydrogen, honda, tuning month, yamaha
Dyno readings show a flat torque plateau made possible by the slow burning fuel. Properly tuned, you will have 500 Nm (368 lb-ft) at almost any rpm with 442 peak horsepower (330 kW) made possible by H2. The simplest molecule in the universe consists of an electron orbiting a proton. Therefore, the only downside to this is explaining the trail of water coming from the exhaust.

Nobody doubts the cleanliness of the fuel, it just has a history of being sidelined by greed and practicality. Rumors abound that patents for H2 engines were bought by the oil companies so Americans would remain addicted to gas. However, the truth is much more convoluted. It makes a perfect fuel for cars, and that is why Honda and Toyota have been late to the party in battery-electric cars. Back in October, the Toyota Mirai went 845 miles on one tank of H2 while driving very slowly. The EPA rates it at 402 miles per tank, which is better than any BEV on the market.

Meanwhile at Honda, their Clarity sedan was recently discontinued due to poor sales. That’s because they are only sold in California. Both companies have dumped millions of dollars into CA’s hydrogen infrastructure to build 127 stations and counting. Toyota went so far as to build a new 1.6L engine that runs on H2, eliminating the need for a fuel cell.

toyota, lexus, hydrogen, honda, tuning month, yamaha
A well-equipped Mirai will set you back around $66,000, and a full tank of H2 will set you back around $100. On paper, the Early Adopters should have embraced the hydrogen future, but they haven’t. The first problem is that California has nothing in common with the other 49 states. A mass exodus of the working class along with unprecedented inflation makes it a bad market for innovation.

Each time energy changes state, you pay for it. So, here is how hydrogen would reach your car. First, you water several times cleaner than what you drink. Then, it takes a decent amount of electricity to separate it from oxygen. The latest storage standards require the gas to be compressed into liquid at 70 MPa, or just over 10,152 psi. Because the infrastructure doesn’t exist, it needs a dedicated fleet of trucks, all powered by fossil fuels.

It can be done, but no government on Earth is willing to subsidize such an energy-hungry process. Nevertheless, automakers who sat it out on the first round of EVs are still using it as a PR tool. Have alternative fuel ever sparked your interests? If so, stay with us for all your automotive news.

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