Toyota Times News

Custom Car Festival Reveals Decarbonized Future for Beloved Cars


A report from the Tokyo Auto Salon, which began on January 13 and ran over three days packed with car enthusiasts.

On episode three of Toyota Times News, host Yuta Tomikawa takes his first look inside the world’s largest custom car festival, featuring 341 exhibiting manufacturers and drawing some 180,000 visitors.

Racing driver Masahiro Sasaki explains the development of the hydrogen-powered and battery EV versions of the AE86 Trueno and Levin, which stole the show at this year’s event. He shares the details—from the clutch and gear shifting to customization that retains the vehicle’s original look and weight—that ensure the joy of driving cherished classic cars is not lost in the age of carbon neutrality. There is also plenty of drifting action with Sasaki behind the wheel of the reborn battery EV AE86.

Visitors also share their excitement about the future of the AE86, imagining themselves in the driver’s seat while reliving fond memories.
“It’s wonderful that they will remain on the roads as EVs and hydrogen-powered cars.”
“Preserving classic cars is hard work, so to be able to drive these worry-free is great.”

The program also features an outdoor-spec Lexus and Morizo’s masterful GR Yaris Rally2 demo run in full. Enjoy the excitement of an event overflowing with love for cars.

Finally, Tomikawa reports on a new company launched in Finland, offering a glimpse inside the Toyota rally team’s stronghold as it chases its third-straight WRC title.

Top image: Noriaki Mitsuhashi (N-RAK PHOTO AGENCY)

00:52 What is Tokyo Auto Salon?
01:57 A peek into the Outdoor Area
02:43 A Lexus for the great outdoors
04:07 Toyota’s carbon-neutral challenge
07:00 Driver Masahiro Sasaki gives the lowdown on the new AE86s
15:18 Eager visitors check out the reborn AE86s
17:53 Morizo’s GR Yaris Rally2 demo run
21:54 Toyota Around the World – Home of the World Rally Champions