The “E” within the identify 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 an alternative? Apparently somebody on the firm thought so; Toyota is showing off an idea model of what the 80s icon would seem like if it had been powered by batteries (or hydrogen). The 2 automobiles 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,” in keeping with Toyota’s website, with elements from a hybrid Tundra and Prius. Mated to the truck motor is one thing you don’t normally see in electrical automobiles — a handbook transmission. I can’t say I’m precisely positive 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 stated, I don’t suppose that joyride can be tremendous speedy, or final very lengthy; whereas Toyota clearly took pains to protect plenty of the unique AE86 driving expertise, according to Jalopnik that motor might 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 automobiles with that quintessential 80s form. To anybody on the market trying 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 attempting 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 unique engine run on hydrogen, so you will get the “enchantment factors of sound and vibration” that you simply’d get from a gasoline engine, however with out the carbon emissions, in keeping with Toyota. No factors for guessing that among the elements got here from a Mirai, Toyota’s experiment with hydrogen that (sadly, for my part) hasn’t gotten much interest or investment in America. As Ars Technica points out, although, this automotive doubtless received’t be as environment friendly as a Mirai, or as quick as an unmodded AE86; there’s a purpose most hydrogen automobiles use it in gasoline cell kind, fairly than burning it in an engine.
Whereas I’d in all probability go along with the battery powered model if I used to be shopping for both of those automobiles, the AE86 H2 Idea has one huge benefit over the electrical model: it has the pop-up headlights, as an alternative of the mounted ones.
Not that it’s doubtless I’ll ever get that selection. Whereas Toyota hinted during its press conference that it’s at the least eager about attempting to make issues simpler for folks attempting to transform their very own beloved automobiles away from gasoline, it’s not like like there are a ton of AE86s just lying around 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 “automobiles I would like however won’t ever be capable of get” checklist. 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 programs bought 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 automobiles being put collectively, you possibly can try this video detailing that process — although until you perceive Japanese, it’s going to be a largely visible expertise.