While the company undoubtedly has a presence at other high-profile automotive shows like SEMA, Geneva, and the LA Auto Show, Toyota always prepares something special for its home country’s premier auto event; the Tokyo Auto Salon. And 2023 was no exception, as Toyota rolled out an enormous slew of vehicles. Alongside a handful of GR Yarris rally concepts, a trio of off-roaders, the firm showed off a pair of specially-modified eco-friendly AE86 builds known as the AE86 H2 Concept and the AE86 BEV Concept.
Building on Toyota’s theme of producing vehicles with an equal focus on performance and sustainability, both concepts see their original inline-four engines jettisoned or modified in order to transform the donors into zero-emissions vehicles. For the AE86 H2 Concept, the car’s 16-valve twin-cam four-banger now runs on liquid hydrogen courtesy of two high-pressure hydrogen storage tanks borrowed from the Toyota Mirai. Allowing for the sounds and sensations of an internal combustion engine while boasting zero-emissions status, the concept car’s hydrogen fuel cell has been housed beneath a custom carbon fiber cover in the rear of the AE86.
For the fully-electric AE86 BEV (Battery Electric Vehicle) Concept, Toyota has pulled the donor’s engine and replaced it with the electric motor from a Tundra HEV and a Prius PHEV battery — the former of which is located under the hood while the latter has been housed in the boot of the car. Also engineered with a major emphasis on achieving a balanced weight distribution, the AE86 BEV Concept has also been treated to a manual gearbox — a decision any hardcore gearhead can no doubt get behind. Additionally, the interiors of both cars have also received an aftermarket steering wheel, shift knob, and a set of custom upholstered BRIDE race seats with seatbelts and seatbelt pads that are made from recycled materials. Both cars have also been cloaked in Initial D-inspired liveries with white bodies contrasted via black trim, fenders, and Kanji on the doors.
While we don’t anticipate Toyota releasing any electromod kits for any of its vintage models anytime soon, we can still thoroughly appreciate the project, even if merely an experimental one-off endeavor.