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Saturday, January 28, 2023

Toyota transforms its legendary AE86 car into electric: sacrilege?

The car manufacturer Toyota has unveiled a hydrogen and electric model of its famous sports car built in 1970. This innovation demonstrates its avant-garde strategy: the concept of retrofitting.

At the 2023 Tokyo Motor Show, Toyota reveals two environmentally friendly adaptations of a classic car: the AE86. The first interpretation is based on the Levin AE86 but incorporates an electric motor. As for the second restomod, it is the AE86 Trueno. Very popular thanks to the Initial D manga series, it is equipped with a hydrogen engine.

The Toyota AE86 car in electric version: a hell of a restomod

You’ve probably heard of it, or at least seen some pictures on the web. Toyota’s Super Trueno was introduced in Japan in the 1980s. It combines all the features that make driving fun: a lightnessa sparkling motorizationa rear wheel drive and an mechanical transmission.

The AE86 continues to cause a lot of ink to flow in 2023. This model has been presented in a new guise: there is a version equipped with a hydrogen engine and another powered by an electric battery;

To make this transformation a reality, the manufacturer has removed block 4A-GE from the engine compartment. In fact, for the AE86 BEV prototype car, Toyota opted for a Tundra’s electric motor, mounted on the rear axle. In addition, this electric model uses a 13.6 kWh rechargeable battery. The latter comes from a hybrid Prius. This combination kept the hyper playful and aggressive nature of the AE86.

Hydrogen engines

The AE86 H2 concept is a Trueno model more interesting. Indeed, it retains its famous 4-cylinder engine, but converts it to hydrogen. This greatly reduces NOx (even worse than CO2). This adaptation required only a few modifications to the injections and the fuel supply. Two hydrogen tanks have been fitted in the trunk, a configuration inspired by that of the Mirai.

It must be said that the H2 model turns out to be an interesting model insofar as it retains the characteristics of the original version. As Toyota points out, this car retains its cachet, in particular its sound and vibrations. However, a solution still needs to be found to produce green hydrogen.

Is the Toyota manufacturer committing sacrilege?

Of course not. In fact, its objective is to provide solutions compatible with the reduction of CO2 emissions. The manufacturer says it attaches importance to the transition to electric to reach in 2050 the goal of zero carbon emissions. However, selling new electric cars is not enough to ensure the conversion of the fleet, according to the boss of Toyota.

Through this unprecedented strategy, the manufacturer is taking the opportunity to respond to the many criticisms of its delay in the marketing of electric cars.

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