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Tuan's Impressions
My all too brief drive of the FCX left a very favorable impression. Get past the fact that the car needs to be "booted up" and it drives like any other economy car but with instant throttle response. The 201 ft-lb of torque will be the very first thing you'll notice. There is no driveline slop or hesitation in the power which is perfect for dealing with traffic in highly congested city environments.


I admittedly have a bias towards rod shifters and mechanical throttles, so I was expecting the throttle tip-in for the FCX to be toy-like with its drive by wire throttle (obviously there is no throttle plate). I was pleasantly surprised that I was able to slowly and smoothly start the car, which I think is good for the typical conditions this car would see in stop and go traffic. The feel of the brake pedal also deserves mention. The FCX comes with an electric vacuum pump assisted brakes with ABS and EBD (electronic brake-force distribution). With this setup, the braking feel is worlds better than the non-linear feel of the regenerative brakes on the 1st gen Toyota Prius, which I have quite a bit of experience driving. (A good friend of mine owns one and we take it on long trips often.) There is still room for improvement, but the brakes give you a feeling that you are able to brake as much as you want to instead of the computer in charge of the electricity regeneration.

While dodging traffic hazards with the FCX in New York, you begin to notice the loud city noises of cars and trucks around you. You then realize that the FCX is extremely quiet with just a very characteristic whirring sound. I can only imagine how much quieter congested city environments would be if a large percentage drove an FCX. Even at 3,713 lbs, the 55:45 front-rear weight distribution of the FCX contributes to a very nimble feel as you swerve around the congested city streets of New York City.

I didn't get to try any real freeway driving with the car so I can't comment on the high speed capability of the car.


I think even the most staunch car guy can feel good about driving a car who's only emission is water or water vapor! It's an interesting sight to see water trickling out the rear of the car. Honda cites a range up to 220 miles which I think is about the minimum distance for a car to be practical. Worse case scenarios, however, will obviously bring this range down and so work should continue to improve the range and efficiency in cold weather. A 93mph top speed should also be more than adequate.


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