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Retrofit: Toyota unveils two Sprinter Trueno converted to electric and hydrogen


Don’t buy a new electric car anymore, “convert your thermal” : this is one of the marketing ideas issued by Akio Toyoda, current CEO of the Toyota Motor Corporation. The grandson of the brand’s founder unveiled two rebranded versions of the Corolla Levin/Sprinter Trueno (AE86) of yesteryear at the Tokyo Auto Salon. An announcement relayed by the agency PA.

“I don’t want to leave any car enthusiast behind me”

The AE86 was presented in a new light: a version with an electric battery engine and a hydrogen one. A media stunt aimed at outlining the Japanese giant’s new strategy, retrofitting. Toyota thus wishes to embark on the conversion of conventional thermal vehicles into hydrogen or electric vehicles. “I don’t want to leave any car enthusiast behind me. It’s important to leave the choice to cars that are already loved or belong to someone“, launched Akio Toyoda. Through this announcement, the manufacturer shows that it considers the conversion as a credible option to achieve the zero carbon emission objective by 2050.

The sale of new electric cars alone will not be enough to convert the car fleet, still believes the CEO of Toyota. With this new strategy, the manufacturer is also responding to criticism of its late arrival on the new electric market.

Toyota, pioneer of the hybrid?

Pioneer of the hybrid car with the Prius, the Japanese manufacturer is indeed criticized for having rested too long on its laurels in terms of all-electric. Technologies, engineering, financial reserves, industrial experience: Toyota, for its part, believes that it has all the cards in hand to remain a driving force in the field of zero-emission vehicles. “If we were in 2025 […] I would say that the Japanese OEMs missed the mark. But since it’s 2023 and manufacturers like Toyota are starting to launch their fuel-efficient electric vehicles, they’re probably on schedule.”evokes for his part Matthias Schmidt, chief automotive analyst at Schmidt Automotive Research, relayed by AP.

With the emergence of this new market, which is however struggling to convince in France, Akio Toyoda would like to demonstrate that an electric car is also “fun“only a classic internal combustion engine. A risky bet because few enthusiasts who own this mythical propulsion car, with a manual gearbox and heroine of the Manga Initial D. would swap their internal combustion engine for an electric version. The hydrogen version, whose performance does not is not assured at the moment, is more likely to convince.

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