Toyota president Akio Toyoda is one cool guy. Aside from leading the Japanese auto giant, he also actively joins various racing series under the guise of “Morizo”. Because of Toyoda, Toyota models have become more exciting over the years. He's also directly responsible for the return of performance models like the GR Yaris and GR Supra, to name a few.

Recently, the Japanese automaker has been working and developing a hydrogen-powered Corolla race car. It's one of the first of its kind, and it aims to bring clean motorsports and racing without having to bid farewell to the internal combustion engine. The automaker hopes to eventually make hydrogen an alternative source to zero-emissions driving aside from battery-electric vehicles.

Toyota president Akio Toyoda raced in hydrogen-powered Corolla image

Being the cool guy that he is, Toyoda decided to join the endurance race at Suzuka last weekend driving the hydrogen-powered Corolla. But what did Toyota change to make it race-ready? Interestingly, it's similar to any other race car on the grid as the mechanical bits are normal. Under the hood, the Corolla uses a turbocharged 1.6-liter three-cylinder from the GR Yaris but tweaked to use hydrogen instead of gasoline. It also comes equipped with hydrogen tanks and systems to make it run.

The automaker has already joined several endurance events in Japan with the hydrogen-powered Corolla. After every race, the team has continuously improved the vehicle, such as reduced refueling speed. This shows just how serious Toyota is when it comes to developing hydrogen vehicles.

With Akio Toyoda heavily involved in the development of the hydrogen-powered Corolla race car, we're excited for what the automaker has in store for the future of performance vehicles. Toyota might just keep the internal combustion engine alive with hydrogen power.