2000GT SEV Solar EV Crazy Car Project at Tokyo Auto Salon 2012

Posted by Stephen On Saturday, January 14th, 2012

The original Toyota 2000GT is a sleek throw-back from the late 60s. Just 337 of these were built between 1967 and 1970 as part of the first real challenge to European supercar dominance from the East. A real Japanese classic.

And someone let a group of guys calling themselves “Crazy Car Project” get their hands on one. What were they thinking?

Fortunately, it seems that the “craziness” relates to the car, rather than the people making it. You see, these guys are all Toyota techs. When it comes to cars, they know what they’re doing.

So what happens when you take a classic 2000GT and turn it into a Crazy Car?

Well, more in tune with the 21st Century than its 1960s petrolhead roots, this is an EV. Not just an EV, but as the name implies it draws at least some of its power from the sun. Surely not much, as the solar panels on the bonnet and rear window are not that big, nor is the technology efficient enough yet to generate enough power anyway. But it’s the thought that counts — and there is at least some contribution to the overall efficiency as a result.

The car itself can achieve 200 KM / H. The powertrain is comprised of Lithium Ion batteries coupled to an LSHV motor and inverter. As you would expect from an EV, the car will pull away in virtual silence, but then as it picks up speed, there is a system to add a more “sporty” soundtrack.

Personally, I can’t see the point of making electric cars sound more like their gasoline-powered forebears. After all, I don’t recall anyone feeling the need to add a steam locomotive soundtrack to early cars — or a horse soundtrack for that matter. But anyway, this is all part of the project, apparently: Making an EV that will stir the emotions.

What I would like to see is still a step beyond this: What’s the magic “spark” (pun definitely intended) that the modern day EV needs to give it that same soulful appeal as a great ICE car? Let’s stop dressing these electric cars up in old, classic clothes and start to address that problem head on.

And while you’re thinking about that, why not take a moment to watch this video of the 2000GT SEV in action?

The 2000GT SEV can be seen at the Tokyo Auto Salon in Chiba, Japan right now.

Sources: Yomiuri Shinbun, Gigazine, Crazy Car Project (all Japanese-language)

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