Toyota AE86 Concepts debut as factory hydrogen and electric restomods


Converting older cars into zero-emission machines is becoming increasingly popular to keep vintage models alive for future generations. Toyota is previewing its factory potential in this direction with two concepts making their debut at the Tokyo Auto Salon in Japan. The two show cars are based on the Toyota AE86 but have different powertrains.

Starting with the AE86 The H2 concept is based on the Trueno body style, with retractable headlights and a two-tone white and black body. It looks almost complete from the outside, although a lot has changed under the skin. Toyota has installed two Mirai-sourced hydrogen storage tanks in the trunk.

The four-cylinder engine under the hood is largely preserved in its original form, but with modified injectors, fuel lines and spark plugs to meet the specifications of the hydrogen system. The Japanese automaker says it developed the vehicle so that the sound and vibrations of the combustion engine are still very present.

The other AE86-based concept making its debut at the Tokyo Auto Salon is the AE86 BEV concept, which features a Levin body with fixed headlights. It has almost exactly the same livery as the AE86 H2 concept and hides a rather interesting powertrain underneath the metal. The battery-powered system uses an electric motor from a Tundra hybrid, a battery pack from a Prius plug-in hybrid and components from other manufactures Toyota and Lexus models.

The biggest surprise, however, is the manual gearbox, and Toyota says it has kept the car’s weight balance as close to the original as possible. The company claims the vehicle offers a very unique driving experience, combining the engagement of a three-pedal car with the “robust drive characteristics” of an electric vehicle.

The seats in the cars further underline the environmental friendliness of the two concepts. These are not brand new seats but restored seats with seat belts and seat belt pads made from recycled materials. Toyota has partnered with a number of aftermarket companies to bring these two prototypes to fruition, although there are no plans for mass production.



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