Updated: Feb 1
"Toyota: Leaving no car lovers behind"
Toyota Gazoo Racing has once again won the hearts of car enthusiasts, revealing a pair of properly restomodded AE86’s with carbon neutral powerplants at Tokyo Auto Salon 2023.
The company surprised the crowd as they unveiled both the AE86 H2 Concept powered by the original 4AGE modified to burn hydrogen, and the AE86 BEV Concept powered by a battery electric engine.
This bold move came as the company moves towards a carbon-neutral era of cars. But they made sure to protect the value of their classic models. The company knows that embracing this new generation of engines may come at the expense of legacy cars which breaks the hearts of car enthusiasts.
With that in mind, Toyota made sure that the transition would put forward the interests of its loyal fans. The campaign not only focused on “protecting beloved cars” but also “leaving no car lovers behind.”
Toyota didn’t commit to the same mistake that Ford did by slapping the Mustang badge onto an EV crossover called the Mach-E just so they can make people love the EV transition. It’s a poor marketing attempt, as though clueless executives did not know the ethos of what a Mustang is.
Moreover, Toyota did this whole project with respect to the driving experience. According to the company, it has used the knowledge it has gained through its running of a hydrogen-powered race car in Japan’s Super Taikyu series to create the AE86 H2 Concept.
The company also claimed that the vehicle provides the noise, feel, and sensations of an internal combustion engine. Other modifications have been kept to a minimum, preserving the look and character of the classic AE86.
The AE86 BEV Concept, on the other hand, maintained the AE86’s signature lightweight characteristics as well as its front-rear weight balance. The car also kept a manual transmission, preserving the same driving experience as the original.
The inevitable transition has come. But Toyota has done a good job in helping traditional car lovers embrace the carbon-neutral future. In the process, the company maintained the ethos of the AE86, which goes to show how much careful thought the company gives about its cars and the people that drive them.