The Tokyo Auto Salon 2012 with NAPAC was held at the Makuhari Messe in Chiba Prefecture (across the bay from Tokyo) on the auspicious day of Friday the 13th. One of the more fun projects at the show was a solar-electric blast from the past, a labor of love on the part of a group of Toyota’s engineers.
The car in question started its life as one of only 337 production model 2000GTs, Japan’s first exciting sports car (but you knew that already, right?), to be resurrected some 40-odd years later as a solar-electric car. It’s called the Toyota 2000GT SEV (for Solar-Electric Vehicle, of course).
Mining the Past to Build the Car of the Future?
Retro-electric is not a new idea, but it can turn out some pretty awesome results. The group doing this particular conversion is composed of Toyota employees, and calls itself the Crazy Car Project (in English, no less). Their mission statement is to combine nostalgia with respect for the environment, and then mix it up with supercar performance.
The 2000GT SEV wasn’t simply converted to electric, though. First it was restored, and the electric motor replaced the combustion engine (with all the other adjustments that go along with converting anything to electric). The CCP then went on to integrate flexible solar panels onto both the hood and the rear window. The power from the solar panels doesn’t recharge the battery; instead, it augments the power from the battery during acceleration, allowing the car to reach a top speed of 124 mph.
The final and most whimsical touch on the 2000GT SEV is the noise that it makes. Electric cars are usually pretty quiet, as we all know. The CCP, apparently, decided that silence was boring and that their creation needed a soundtrack – so they rigged it to play the sound of a running horse as it accelerates.
Check out the video below for the 2000GT SEV in action.
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