Conversions of older cars into zero-emissions machines are becoming increasingly popular as a smart way to keep vintage models alive for future generations. Toyota previews 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 H2 concept, it is based on the Trueno body style with retractable headlights and a two-tone white-black body. It looks almost completely stock from the outside, though much has changed underneath the skin. Toyota has installed two Mirai-sourced hydrogen storages positioned in the trunk.
Gallery: Toyota AE86 H2 and AE86 BEV concepts
The four-cylinder engine under the hood is kept in its original form as much as possible, but with modified fuel injectors, fuel pipes, and spark plugs to meet the specifications of the hydrogen system. The Japanese automaker says it has developed the vehicle in such a way that the internal combustion engine’s sound and vibrations are still very much present.
The other AE86-based concept that’s 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 hiding under the metal is a rather interesting powertrain. The battery-powered system uses an electric motor sourced from a Tundra hybrid, a battery pack from a Prius plug-in hybrid, and components from other production Toyota and Lexus models.
The biggest surprise, however, is the manual transmission and Toyota says it has kept the weight balance of the car as close to the original as possible. The company claims the vehicle delivers a very unique driving experience combining the engagement of a three-pedal car with the “robust driving force characteristics” of an electric vehicle.
Further emphasizing the two concepts’ green credentials are the seats inside the cars. These are not brand-new seats but restored ones using seatbelts and seatbelt pads made from recycled materials. Toyota has partnered with a number of aftermarket companies to make these two prototypes happen, though there are no plans for mass production.