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A very green Toyota Levin

By Rigval on 26 Apr 2010

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At a recent classic car show in Japan a tuning company called Tec Art's, not to be confused with the Porsche tuning company Techart as it has that funny Japanese punctuation, had exhibited another one of those classic Japanese cars that have been tweaked by adding current automotive tech. This makes the a 20 or 30 year old classic run reliably on current technology for the ease of its owners. Tec Art's Eco Hatchi-Roku (86) is one of those type of modded cars but it has a twist. This old AE86 is an eco-mentalist's dream of a tree hugging classic car.

According to the design brief, the car is supposed to be more fuel efficient the original 4A-G engine and environmentally cleaner too. The engine is still a 4A-G but it now runs an APEX Power FC stand alone programmable ECU. This allows Tech Art to precisely tune the engine's air-fuel ratio.

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The power steering has been modernized by replacing the hydraulic motor system with an electric motor (see photo above). It uses the original steering rack but it has been modified so that an electric motor assists in the turning. The only drawback to this system is the lack of feel. The benefit is usually a 3% savings in fuel consumption. I'd rather have the hydraulic system thank you.

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Another upgrade is that a variable intake system is used. The intake manifold has two intake valves that switches between high and low rpm. To increase torque at low rpm the valve closes on one side (for more tumble and swirl) and at higher rpm both valves opens up. The valve control is manual where the driver can use a setting (for torque) for city commuting and the other for fast road driving.

Amazingly, this old 86 can make 18km/l. And at highway cruising speeds 19.6km/l was achieved. This means that this old car is as economical or even more economical than a Honda Jazz. A Levin at the very best made 11-12km/l. The best thing was that no power was sacrificed for this figures to be achieved and the Eco-86 made 129.9ps (at the wheel) and 161Nm of torque from the ancient 1.6 4A-G engine. The stock 4A-G made about 125bhp at the flywheel, so it still is a good improvement. Tec Art's intends to get 20km/l by spending more time fine tuning the system.

Quite an amazing achievement, modernizing a classic into something quite eco-friendly. Quite, as nothing had been said about having catalytic converters or stuff like that.

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Toyota Levin, AE86, classic car and 3 more...

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Written by Rigval
Born in 1972. Married with a kid. Loves B-road drives and have driven cars from the 1950s to date.

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Macrosszero Apr 26 2010 10:54 PM
This is merely a fuel-efficient car. The article doesn't say anything about CO2 emissions, which is what green cars are really about.

You don't hear people refer to Honda Jazz being a green car like a Honda Insight is.
Rigval Apr 27 2010 12:41 AM
Well, I did say at the end of the article that it wasn't really that eco. But burning less fossil fuel is one part of the equation. You see, cars that have catalytic convertors ensure that other gases like carbon monoxide isn't sent to the atmosphere but it converts to CO2. So in actuality more C02 is released than a cat-less car than one with one.

this car shows that you can upgrade old tech into something economical and Greener than what it was, 25 years ago.
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