The Toyota AE86 Concept Debuts as a Hydrogen Factory and Electric Restomod

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Converting old cars to zero-emission engines is becoming increasingly popular as a smart way to keep vintage models alive for generations to come. Toyota is displaying the potential of its factories in this direction with two concepts debuting at the Tokyo Auto Salon in Japan. Both 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-and-black body. It is visible almost completely from the outside, although much has changed under the skin. Toyota has installed two Mirai-sourced hydrogen storage positions in the trunk.

The four-cylinder engine under its hood was kept in its original form as much as possible, but with fuel injectors, fuel pipes, and spark plugs modified to meet hydrogen system specifications. The Japanese automaker says it has developed the vehicle in such a way that the sound and vibration of the internal combustion engine can still be felt.

Another AE86-based concept debuting at the Tokyo Auto Salon is the AE86 BEV concept featuring a Levin body with fixed headlights. It is almost exactly the same color as the AE86 H2 concept and hiding under the metal is quite an interesting powertrain. The battery-powered system uses an electric motor sourced from the Tundra hybrid, the battery pack from the Prius plug-in hybrid, and components from other Toyota and Lexus production models.

The biggest surprise, however, was the manual transmission and Toyota says it has kept the car’s weight balance as close to the original as possible. The company claims the vehicle provides a very unique driving experience that combines the involvement of a three-pedal car with the “powerful propulsion characteristics” of electric vehicles.

Further emphasizing the concept’s second green credentials are the seats in the car. This is not a new chair but a chair that has been restored using 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 life, though there are no plans for mass production yet.