The “E” within the title of Toyota’s legendary AE86 was there to designate it as a Corolla, however wouldn’t or not it’s superior if it stood for “electrical” as a substitute? Apparently somebody on the firm thought so; Toyota is exhibiting off an idea model of what the 80s icon would appear like if it have been powered by batteries (or hydrogen). The 2 vehicles are being exhibited on the Tokyo Auto Salon present, which runs from January thirteenth to the fifteenth.
The AE86 BEV Idea makes use of “electrification applied sciences cultivated by Lexus,” based on Toyota’s web site, with elements from a hybrid Tundra and Prius. Mated to the truck motor is one thing you don’t often see in electrical vehicles — a guide transmission. I can’t say I’m precisely certain what driving stick to a motor that may present near-instant torque can be like, however I do know that I’d love to seek out out.
With that mentioned, I don’t assume that joyride can be tremendous speedy, or final very lengthy; whereas Toyota clearly took pains to protect plenty of the unique AE86 driving expertise, based on Jalopnik that motor may very well be making as little as 48 horsepower, lower than half the unique. Additionally, a Prius battery is simply not going to get you very far.
Not that energy issues a lot to me — I’m only a sucker for vehicles with that quintessential 80s form. To anybody on the market seeking to make a automotive with barely any curves (ahem), that is the way you do it; not by copying PS1-era graphics, however by taking inspiration from geometric shapes, just like the trapezoid. That’s, so long as you’re making an attempt to focus on individuals who grew up within the 80s and 90s watching anime like Preliminary D, which famously featured an AE86 — and which these ideas are clearly paying homage to with their paint jobs and stickers. I’ll admit that exterior of that demographic, most people in all probability isn’t clamoring for a return to boxy automobiles.
Toyota restomoded one other AE86 to make its authentic engine run on hydrogen, so you may get the “attraction factors of sound and vibration” that you simply’d get from a gasoline engine, however with out the carbon emissions, based on Toyota. No factors for guessing that a number of the elements got here from a Mirai, Toyota’s experiment with hydrogen that (sadly, in my view) hasn’t gotten a lot curiosity or funding in America. As Ars Technica factors out, although, this automotive possible gained’t be as environment friendly as a Mirai, or as quick as an unmodded AE86; there’s a motive most hydrogen automobiles use it in gasoline cell type, quite than burning it in an engine.
Whereas I’d in all probability go together with the battery powered model if I used to be shopping for both of those vehicles, the AE86 H2 Idea has one large benefit over the electrical model: it has the pop-up headlights, as a substitute of the mounted ones.
Not that it’s possible I’ll ever get that selection. Whereas Toyota hinted throughout its press convention that it’s no less than eager about making an attempt to make issues simpler for folks making an attempt to transform their very own beloved vehicles away from gasoline, it’s not like like there are a ton of AE86s simply mendacity round to be restored and modded. The corporate stopped making them in 1987.
It appears the AE86 BEV and H2 are destined for a spot on my “vehicles I need however won’t ever be capable of get” listing. They’ll be on there alongside that unimaginable Hyundai Grandeur EV we noticed final 12 months, a US model of the Honda E, and a Ford Maverick with each the AWD and hybrid techniques offered at MSRP. (Ford, I do know you possibly can put these two issues collectively due to the Escape and F-150, simply do it already!)
PS: if you wish to see these vehicles being put collectively, you possibly can try this video detailing that course of — although except you perceive Japanese, it’s going to be a principally visible expertise.