Tokyo Auto Otaku 2023 – Highlights of TAS2023: The “ECO” AE86s

One of the biggest surprises at TAS (for me at least) was Toyota’s unveiling of two AE86s  by Akio Toyoda, a Levin and a Trueno. Both not only lovingly restored by Gazoo Racing but also retrofitted with a much more modern powertrain. The Levin, going full electric with an electric drive unit from their Tundra HEV and batteries from the Prius.

Whilst many will most certainly baulk at the idea of their favourite tofu-delivering machine going electric, the engineers at Gazoo have done their utmost to maintain the original car’s balance for proper handling attributes. Not only that, but this electric L-EV-in also retains a stick shift and clutch pedal!

For those who just can’t bear to give up on their precious 4AGE just yet, there’s the much more interesting hydrogen concept.

Unlike the EV concept which had its petrol-burning heart (carefully) removed, this H2 Concept retains the 4AGE in full glory, albeit modified to instead burn hydrogen. Giving keen drivers the full sensory experience, without angering Captain Planet and the Planeteers.

While I’m sure even this hydrogen concept might get a number of people (strangely) upset, it is in actual fact something that should be celebrated because, in a world where older cars are increasingly being stigmatised and even banned outright, such ideas and concepts will eventually, one day, give enthusiasts like us, a lifeline to keep our cars running legally on the roads. And for that, I applaud and thank you, Toyoda-san.

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