Although much has changed beneath the Clarity’s skin, the skin itself has remained familiarly unorthodox.
European efforts to slide zero-emissions technology under the comfort blanket of established styling language apparently carries no weight with the Japanese.
The Clarity, much like the Mirai, strains hard for an ugly-duckling futurism that frumpily conveys its divergence from internal combustion. As ever, this might conceivably work in Santa Monica or Tokyo, but not so much in Solihull or Tamworth.
Of course, functionally, the Clarity is less about pleasing the eye than it is soothing the surrounding airflow.
There is an awful lot of channelling and ducting going on in the name of aerodynamic efficiency, just as the car’s shape is partly dictated by the packaging requirements of the underside. Developments made in this regard are at the vanguard of the new model’s improvements, most notably in the downsizing of the fuel cell stack, which allows it to be housed under the bonnet and not in an intrusive transmission tunnel, as it was previously.