This might just be the cure for the GT86’s chronic lack of torque.
The Toyota 86 (formerly GT86 and also sold as the Scion FRS and Subaru BRZ) is renowned for its frisky handling and high levels of driver enjoyment. However, it has one major downside - a noticeable lack of torque from its 2-liter four-cylinder boxer engine.
Some have tried to cure this by turbocharging or supercharging the car, but as you can imagine, since you’re reading about this here, there is another way. You can remove the four-pot boxer completely and replace it with a far more torquey electric motor.
That’s what Philip Schuster from Ulm, Germany did, replacing the gasoline engine with the electric motor from a Nissan Leaf. He says he’s converted plenty of internal combustion-engined cars before but that this is his first EV conversions and it involved a bit of trial and error.
The Leaf motor is mounted to the factory six-speed gearbox via a custom adaptor plate. Philip had some trouble finding a suitable clutch to make it all work together, but in the end he went for one from a Honda.
He also managed to fit the entire 24 kWh Nissan battery pack into the Toyota - 16 modules in the engine bay, 12 in place of the fuel tank and the remaining 20 in the spare wheel compartment (which will be modified since there's no longer an exhaust passing next to it).
In terms of power, he is using the motor out of a 2014 Nissan Leaf, and he expects it to push around 200 horsepower and 400 Nm (295 pound-feet) of torque.
Gallery: Toyota 86 EV Conversion
Philip definitely did a terrific job with this conversion - in the photos he posted, it almost looks OEM-level quality. And now that the car is ready, he even took it for a test drive.
I reached out to Philip and he said he’ll have a full road test video of it up next week; right now he’s only uploaded a video of him backing the car out of the garage and driving it away, as well as one showing just how quickly it can accelerate.