Hydrogen-Fueled 2016 Toyota Mirai Set to Pace NASCAR Race

Apr 25, 2015 09:32 AM EDT | Matt Mercuro

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The 2016 Toyota Mirai will serve as the official pace car for the Toyota Owners 400 on Saturday night in Richmond, becoming the first hydrogen-fueled vehicle to lead the field during a NASCAR race, according to .

What's so special about this car? The Mirai is powered by hydrogen and emits nothing but water vapor from its tailpipe, making it one of the most fuel-efficient cars in the world.

"Having a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle pace the Toyota Owners 400 is a historic moment for both Toyota and NASCAR and we're proud it's the Toyota Mirai," said Toyota VP of Marketing, Performance and Guest Experience, Ed Laukes, according to the automaker.

Capable of 300 miles on a single tank, the four-door model refuels in less than five minutes and will reach dealerships in California later on this year, according to Toyota.

To be approved for the Toyota Owners 400 the Mirai went through a test session at Richmond International Raceway on Thursday. The Mirai passed with flying colors, meeting all of NASCAR's requirements to pace the 400-mile race this weekend.

"Bringing the Mirai to Richmond to pace this important race is another way for Toyota to showcase our innovation and environmental leadership," said Laukes.

Unfortunately the Mirai ride won't be competing in the actual race on Saturday, but we're excited to see it lead the Sprint Cup Series field to the green flag all the same.

The Toyota Camry Hybrid holds the distinction of being the first hybrid to pace a full NASCAR race when it lead the field back in 2009 for the Coca Cola 600, according to Toyota.

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