According to UK mag Autocar, the one-off electrified version of Toyota’s classic 2000GT sports car actually hints at a future Toyota electric sports car model - which could possibly also include the prototype’s manual transmission.
The project’s manager, Naohiko Saito, told Autocar that the 2000GT SEV is “an early part of the development process involved in refining the technology”.
Saito reportedly added that this technology would first reach the market in a city car before being developed for a sports car.
The 2000GT SEV uses a bonnet-mounted solar panel to charge a lithium-ion battery pack, which then powers a 120kW electric motor with a variable torque inverter and traditional H-pattern manual transmission, all driving the rear wheels.
Speaking at the car’s recent Goodwood Festival of Speed reappearance, Toyota’s advanced drivetrain engineering chief Hiroyuki Ogawa told Autocar that there is “a desire to use a manual gearbox in our electric and hybrid sports cars”.
He added that the CVT transmission used by hybrid Toyotas to date is “efficient but not fun”, with a manual alternative “promising much better feel for the driver”.
It is unclear at this stage whether the 2000GT SEV project forms part of the recently announced Toyota/BMW green technology/sports car partnership.
Wherever it fits into the scheme of things, there are certainly signs within Toyota that it's getting serious about building a portfolio of sporting models for enthusiast buyers.