Build to the Future
Last month the Toyota Mirai entered the world as a vehicle Fueled by the Future. No, it doesn't come equipped with a Flux Capacitor, but it does have hydrogen fuel cell technology. I'm not sure who exactly fell off their toilet seat, hit their head and pictured the future of transportation, but I do know who was called to do it with some style. There was little question as to who Toyota would to trust to lead a Mirai Time Machine build for SEMA. Mike Vu, owner of MV Designz, is an industry veteran and has maintained a reputation as one of their go-to project car builders. For the past few months we’ve been able to take an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at Mike building the all-new Mirai and infusing it with styling queues from Doc Brown's Time Traveling DeLorean. Here’s how it all went down:
Our first visit looks like any other SEMA build, where Mike took a brand new car apart so that he could get a better idea of what he’s about to transform.
We couldn't give away the plan for this project yet at this time, but we did drop a few very subtle hints. Maybe you saw one of them on the tablet Mike is holding. Here it is again, except this time with the tablet in focus.
Whoa, This is Heavy
Our jaws dropped in only our second visit to the shop, as the project is already starting to take shape, a type of winged-shape to be exact. The gullwing doors of the DeLorean are iconic in the movie, making it a definite must for this project. There was no way this Mirai was going to have four gullwing doors, so Mike’s first challenge was turning this sedan into a coupe.
Welding the rear doors to the body was the easy part. A portion was cut and then welded onto the front doors getting the gullwing modification, this allowed for a wider opening like a typical coupe. The roof and parts of the a-pillar were cut to allow function of the new door style.
Mike didn't stop with the doors, as you can see here the way the trunk opens has been completely redesigned as well. If you couldn’t already tell, they aren't building a movie prop. This Mirai has undergone many major cuts, but Mike and his team have reinforced everything. When this baby is done, you bet your ass it works like a real car!
After two more visits to MV Designz, we really started to see this thing come together. Both gullwing doors are functional and are able to hold up on with shocks; meanwhile, custom cut glass for the doors and a Mr. Fusion also arrives.
A fresh coat of paint is laid down and looks exactly like the DeLorean's brushed stainless steel panels. Mike is an excellent painter in his own right, but for this project he had his good friend and professional airbrush artist Cory fly in from North Carolina to make sure the look was perfect. I can’t give away all the secrets, but Scotch Brite and a super steady hand all played a part in the stainless steel effect.
As if the interior of the Mirai wasn't high-tech enough, Mike is playing around with a couple electronic devices to make sure he inputs all the important dates needed to complete his version of the time circuits.
Do you mind if we…park…for a while? It’s the night before October 21, 2015 and the Trailblazers, first-time owners, are partying it up in West Hollywood patiently waiting for the official debut and the ceremonial keys to their brand new Mirais. As guests enjoy the open bar and futuristic appetizers, they are also able to get photo-ops with the soft debut of the MV Designz Mirai Time Machine.
This is only phase one, but everything's looking great. The Mr. Fusion is now in as well as the legendary "OUTATIME" California license plate. This is the first time we’ve actually seen the interior inside the car and look what we find, a Flux Capacitor! This custom, handmade replica would make Doc Brown proud.
Debut at SEMA Show
We just hit 88 miles per hour, its time to see some serious shit! The day has finally come, SEMA Show 2015! We are here at the Toyota booth for the official unveil of the MV Designz Toyota Mirai Time Machine. While the version at the Mirai premiere event was epic already, Mike had a few more plans up his sleeve to really pay true homage to the famous DeLorean.
The audio display of the Mirai was replaced with a Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 displaying time circuits. One thing that Doc probably didn’t take into account building his time machine was all of hands-free driving laws we have. With Mike's version, you can safely drive your time machine and keep your eyes on the road with the additional time circuit heads-up-display.
Instead of the wheels folding underneath for take off, this Mirai has a custom Air Runner System Air Suspension kit and custom 2-piece Aristo Wheels perfect for parking, cruising around town or trying to hit 88mph. My personal favorite part of this build is something completely new to the DeLorean Time Machine, Mike calls it the "infinity wheel." With some well placed LED lights and mirrors, you can’t tell what alternative universe the other end of the wheel might be.
Check out the gallery below for more photos from the entire build as well as photos of it at the Toyota booth during this year's SEMA Show: