The totally awesome Toyota 2000GT SEV unveiled earlier this year was the result of what was called the "Crazy Car Project," undertaken by the Toyota Automobile Association. While no doubt some thought that converting the iconic car, of which only 353 examples were made, to run on solar power a bit insane, perhaps there was a method to their madness.
While the CCP website says the solar-powered variant was built for the purpose of "making people feel an excitement of driving and to have a chance to think about our earth in an innovative way", a report over at Autocar suggests that the automaker is actually using it as a platform to test out certain ideas. Ideas like a manual transmission mated to an electric motor, for example.
With an eye toward building an all-electric city car and, eventually, a sports car, the Japanese automaker is considering using the old-fashioned stick to inject more driving joy into the electric experience. While there certainly is an argument to be made for packaging a gear shifter in certain EVs – especially those with lower-voltage systems – we hope Toyota engineers also consider the high-voltage/high-regen route, which can mimic some aspects of the manual feel and also provide for better efficiency and performance.
To get a sense for what driving the 2000GT SEV is like, scroll down for video of it making a recent run up the Goodwood track. And before you ask, that noise seemingly emanating from the electric drivetrain is on purpose. Controlled by iPad via wifi, its HALOsonic system produces sounds to provide feedback for the driver. Though it could mimic galloping horses or tweeting birds, we believe the spaceship setting is being used in this clip.