While we were still reeling in from the wonderful CES last week, across the Pacific, in Tokyo something exciting was being announced for fans of JDM and Initial D at the Tokyo Auto Salon 2023 (January 13-15).
During the definitive annual auto show, Toyota show off two concept vehicles we did not see coming: a reboot of the AE86 Sprinter Trueno and the AE86 Levin, referred to as AE86 H2 and AE86 BEV, respectively.
These are not restomods, btw. There are concept EVs. That’s right, my friends. The legendary AE86 has gotten an electric makeover in two body styles. Well, technically, it is just one body style but a slightly different front end.
The AE86 H2, which is based on the iconic AE86 Sprinter Trueno made popular by Initial D manga, is a hydrogen-engine vehicle while the AE86 BEV is based on the AE 86 Levin. Both cars are created by Toyota Gazoo Racing (TGR).
Interestingly, H2 has an engine conversion. The original 4AG is converted into a hydrogen engine, paired with two Toyota Mirai fuel cell electric vehicle high-pressure hydrogen storage tanks mounted in the rear.
Modifications to the fuel injectors, fuel pipes, and spark plugs are necessary to accommodate the new fuel but they were kept to the minimum, said Toyota.
Meanwhile, the Levin is a pure EV, based on the electrification technologies developed by Lexus using existing commercially sold vehicles, including Tundra HEV electric motor paired and a Prius PHEV battery.
All told, this sweet retro-modern ride packs a modest 68.4 kW (about 92 horses) and puts out 190 Nm (140 lb-ft) of torque. Numbers for the AE86 H2, however, are not undisclosed.
It is no surprise that Levin has been chosen to be an EV since the letters “EV” has always been in its name. You gotta give it to the marketing team of Toyota for coming up with this brilliant reference.
While the original fun and sporty 4AG engine have to be removed, the manual transmission is left untouched, thus allowing the driver to relive the joy of clutching in and shifting.
Green isn’t limited to the drivetrain of these concepts; further contributing to carbon neutrality is bolstered by rejuvenated used seats and seatbelts, and seatbelt pads that are made from recycled materials.
Unfortunately, details on these exciting concepts are sparse. But there is an article on them posted in Tokyo Times in English if anyone’s interested. It is not clear if the Toyota AE86 H2 Concept and AE86 BEV Concept will be green-lit for production.
All images courtesy of Toyota [JP].