Saying the Toyota 2000GT holds a special place in our hearts is akin to calling oxygen and water kind of important to our survival. The long-nose two-door was envisioned as a suitable competitor to the likes of the European sports cars rolling out Italy and the UK at the time, and in many ways, the Toyota was far superior. Built at a time when Japan Inc. wasn't exactly known for beautiful automobile designs, the 2000GT may have been influenced by European cars of its day, but it has stood the test of time as one of the country's all-time design greats. The low-volume coupe is a piece of automotive legend, which is exactly why choosing to use a 2000GT as a platform for an electric conversion strikes us equal parts blasphemous and awesome. But that's exactly what Japan's Crazy Car Project has done.

The engineers behind the exercise ditched the standard 2.0-liter inline six-cylinder engine in favor of a 161-horsepower electric motor. A 35-kWh lithium-ion battery provides the system with power, and the hood has been covered with photovoltaic cells to help keep the car going. Likewise, the back glass is covered in a transparent solar panel. All told, the system can propel the vehicle to around 124 mph.

Inside, the 2000GT SEV features a modernized interior with plenty of tech-laden gadgets. The vehicle was built in cooperation with Toyota and debuted at the 2012 Tokyo Auto Salon. Let's hope they started with a real basket case, eh? Hit the jump to see a video of the car in action.



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 24 Comments
      • 2 Months Ago
      In case of anz modern Electric vehicle a back glass should be covered in a transparent solar panel. This would provide longer distance and shorter mean time between recharge. Anyway - interesting project which can open minds of many engeneers. . Find your charging station (profile - evmaps)
      goodoldgorr
      • 2 Months Ago
      Make some solar refletors where we put those near the solar panels and we redirect some more solar rays into these solar panels so they can make more electricity, is it clear now. I won't buy a car with solar panels if there is no additionnal sun refletors that can be put while the car is at rest to redirect more sun into it, sun refletors cost next to nothing but we must be careful when it's windy to secure them solidly to not scratch the paint. This car in florida or southern california can be free fuel cost without pollution.
        Ryan
        • 2 Months Ago
        @goodoldgorr
        As someone with a solar panel setup with reflectors for the less than mid-summer day Sun, I'll agree to a point. It becomes impractical on a car to have a reflector system, and there is a maximum amount of sunlight that can get converted to power on any given panel.
        skierpage
        • 2 Months Ago
        @goodoldgorr
        In the alternate fantasy universe you seem to live in, just hire street urchins and have them hold up mirrors to shine at the car. Meanwhile in our universe, tracking solar mirrors are expensive because the cost of smart tracking and the durability requirements for something exposed to the elements. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_tracker
          Marco Polo
          • 2 Months Ago
          @skierpage
          @skierpage Ezee has solar powered street urchins for sale, want to buy a franchise?
      Brand X
      • 2 Months Ago
      There is now paint that has solar voltaic properties, so look for that in the future. There's a lot of activity in the EV arena, but the naysayers need not worry, you'll always have petrol to buy even when it reaches $20 a gallon, I can hear your complaining about EV's. Shush it!
      Smith Jim
      • 2 Months Ago
      There will be some people who will read this article and believe this is a 100% solar-powered car. I'm sure the solar panels are there to augment the energy from plugging in. If the owner lives in a very sunny climate and drives less than 5 miles per day it might be a 20% solar-powered car. That's my SWAG (scientific wild-ass guess)
        Ryan
        • 2 Months Ago
        @Smith Jim
        They would need a large solar array to charge a car driving at speed down a road. You can either go bigger or have more time in the Sun. I would agree that the solar panels built into that car look like they could power it at about 1 mile per hour if not 2 (300/Wh solar panels(a guess until I'm told otherwise) and a 200 watts per mile car)
        Dan Frederiksen
        • 2 Months Ago
        @Smith Jim
        with about 1 square meter of cells I think you can accumulate about 5km per day with a reasonably efficient drivetrain. if the car was really efficient and had 2 square meters of state of the art solar cells it might go 50km per day in sunny regions.
      Smith Jim
      • 2 Months Ago
      After doing some searching on "the internets" I found the average amount of usable solar energy per square meter is roughly 5 kW-h per day. The very best silicon solar cells are about 20% efficient so the total energy from a square meter of silicon solar cells is about 1 kW-h per day. This probably assumes tilting the solar panel toward the Sun. With a car that can't be tilted toward the Sun I'm going wild-ass guess that would cut the energy output in half. I just measured the roof and back window of my car, a 2011 Honda Insight. It's 2.0 square meters. So, I assume the doubling of the area makes up for the lack of tilt toward the Sun. 1 kW-hr can take you 3.3 miles in a Mitsubishi i-Miev. (EPA, 30 kW-hr/100 miles).
        Smith Jim
        • 2 Months Ago
        @Smith Jim
        Fisker claims the Karma's solar roof with extend the range 200 miles per year. That's roughly one half mile per day.
        Marco Polo
        • 2 Months Ago
        @Smith Jim
        @Smith Jim Still, the history of Solar powered racing is interesting. The World Solar Challenge is run every 2 years over the very hot dry Australian highway 3,021 km (1,877 mi) from Darwin to Adelaide. The race was inaugurated in 1987, and the first year winners were GM Holden's Sunraycer with an average speed of 67 km/h (42 mph). Ford Australia's "Sunchaser" second and "Spirit of Biel" built by Biel School of Engineering and Architecture in Switzerland, third. Since then the speed and size of the race field has grown, and the record stands at 102.8 km/h. Great fun to watch, and a great deal of useful knowledge is acquired.
        BipDBo
        • 2 Months Ago
        @Smith Jim
        You can count on some, although I have no idea how much deduction on this based on the extra weight of the solar panels and associated electronics.
          Ele Truk
          • 2 Months Ago
          @BipDBo
          It all depends on how the panels are built. Raw solar cells (just the silicon part) aren't very heavy, it's all the casing that makes them heavy. If they put in something like thin film organic, then it's not much more than a sheet of plastic.
      DaveMart
      • 2 Months Ago
      Perhaps surprisingly for someone who is deeply critical of the solar industry I am very much in favour of solar panels on cars. Of course4, where that gets dumb is when the potential is exaggerated into any notion of 'running the car' on inbuilt solar power in normal use or other than as a stunt. What it can do though is pretty good, and well worth the money. In the Audi's for instance it is used to run a small fan, so that parked in the sun the car stays cool. The other big plus is that if you left your car parked at an airport of whatever, the battery would be kept topped up, which not only avoids the annoyance of a flat battery but is better for its condition.
        EZEE
        • 2 Months Ago
        @DaveMart
        Maybe have a tiny fan as well, like a house's attic fan, to keep it from heating upto 5,000 degrees (Florida here...). That would be nice on any car...
          DaveMart
          • 2 Months Ago
          @EZEE
          'Toyota Prius. The cabin fan is powered by a pair of solar panels embedded in a moonroof. Price of the option is yet to be set, says spokesman Bill Kwong. Also included in the option package for the new Prius, due in late spring, will be a remote-control switch for the air conditioner to cool the car when it's been parked on hot days. •Fisker Karma. The $87,000 plug-in hybrid, Fisker's first production model, due out later this year, will have a 5-foot-by-4-foot solar panel. It can add only about 5 all-electric miles a week if the car is parked in the sun all the time, says Fisker's Russell Datz, so the feature is as much about bragging rights as utility. "It fits in with the whole theme of the car," he says. "It's a 'green' car in a market where there are no 'green' cars." •Audi A8. While the focus is on hybrids, some conventional cars have quietly used the solar fan idea for a while. The system on Audi's A8 sedan can make a big difference in cabin temperature, says spokesman Jeff Kuhlman. But other automakers tried solar panels and fans and weren't happy with the results. Mazda installed a system on the 929 sedan in 1992, but it proved costly and ineffective.' http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/2009-01-19-solar-panel-cars-automakers-prius_N.htm
      winc06
      • 2 Months Ago
      Creative paint jobs and graffiti all over are getting very tiresome. As are misleading headlines. A small solar panel may add a minuscule amount but it is not solar powered anymore than someone who has a mint after dinner is powered by mints.
        Marco Polo
        • 2 Months Ago
        @winc06
        winc06 Good heavens, y' mean the cars not solar powered! Really? no...how disappointing, next you'll be telling me the racing stripes and sponsors ad's don't make it go faster! This car is an exercise in styling and customising conversion. A project to make you think, while having fun. It's not an opportunity for the terminally anorak to delight in moralising about technical minutia
      Ryan
      • 2 Months Ago
      Note to film makers, try not to start off your film of an electric car by showing lots of people pushing it. :)
      EZEE
      • 2 Months Ago
      For those who now about solar cells than I... Can a solar cell be flexible so it could cover larger, curved areas? Also, do they still have a lifespan, so that the efficiency would drop over time? Lastly, would it be advantageous to go back to the 1970's American styles of having larger hoods and trunks, so there could be a greater solar surface area? Oddly, it occurs to me that one would no longer want to find shady places to park...
        JP
        • 2 Months Ago
        @EZEE
        The long hood is not a great aerodynamic shape, so probably not a good choice. However a longer roof still gives you a good amount of surface for solar panels. Hood and roof could be covered, you might get up to 5 miles a day, probably closer to 3, but if your daily drive totals 30 miles and you have 3 miles of solar panels then 10% of your drive is really emissions free.
          EZEE
          • 2 Months Ago
          @JP
          Thanks! (laughing...got voted down for asking a question!). :)
        skierpage
        • 2 Months Ago
        @EZEE
        There are thin-film flexible solar cells, and it would seem easier to cover a hood and trunk with them. In general they are less efficient than crystalline silicon "wafers". I believe the solar cells on the Prius solar roof option are polycrystalline, even though they are slightly curved. "Kyocera brought in a specialized laminator to the dedicated production line to seal the solar cells, glass and back sheet into the uniquely-shaped solar module." The reason manufacturers don't cover more of the car with solar cells is simply diminishing returns for greater expense.. Wikipedia says "Many crystalline silicon module manufacturers offer a warranty that guarantees electrical production for 10 years at 90% of rated power output and 25 years at 80%."
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