Toyota’s 1977 Aluminum Shoe: 992 Pounds

Massive Hood Covering Half-Liter Engine

In current times, automobiles are gradually utilizing aluminium body panels to heighten efficiency and cut down on weight. Contrasted to the 1970s, the use of this lightweight substance was rarely observed outside of high-end, sports automobiles. Toyoto led the way in revolutionizing the industry with its outlandish 1977 Toyota Aluminium Body Experimental Vehicle concept, which appeared at the same year’s Tokyo Motor Show.

Let’s be frank, the ABEV has an unusually strange exterior. You could assume the stretched hood was hiding an immense motor, but that isn’t correct. The concept vehicle’s powerplant measures merely 547 cubic centimeters in size.

The lengthy hood leads to a cramped cabin. Sadly, we weren’t able to source any images of the interior, but the doors open by sliding back, similar to those present on a minivan. Within, there is ample seating for two individuals.

Toyota’s 1977 press release concerning the ABEV stated that the concept was born “in response to social calls for the conservation of energy and natural resources.” The automaker’s aim was to develop a lightweight vehicle that could boast improved fuel efficiency. “The development of this vehicle was driven by the principle of achieving maximum work with a minimum of consumption,” the company noted.

At a span of 3,560 millimeters, the conception was 140.2 inches in length; and, widthwise, amounted to 58.74 inches (1,492 mm). Rising up to 45.51 inches (1,156 mm), it is notably diminished in height against the Toyota Corolla Hatchback that is existent in the US – 172 inches extended, 70.5 inches wide. Therefore, ABEV proves to be a significantly diminutive technology.

The lightweight aluminium construction of the concept enabled it to have a total mass of just 992 pounds (450 kilograms). Toyota stated that this model achieved an estimate of 82 miles per gallon (35 kilometers per liter) when operating at approximately 37 miles per hour (60 kilometers per hour).

Subsequent to Toyota introducing the ABEV at the 1977 Tokyo Motor Exhibition, it was featured in the 1978 sales and promotion booklet of the vehicular company, which is pictured beneath.

Modern Toyotas employ an abundance of aluminum. As an example, the up-to-date Tacoma incorporates the material in its upper body and tailgate to reduce weight. The GR Corolla similarly has aluminum for the hood and front doors. Therefore, it is evident that ABEV was a successful forerunner of Toyota’s future endeavors.

Sources: Toyota, Toyota

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