Toyota explores hybrid future

2012-03-08 12:32

Toyota takes its hybrid assault to the next level with the FT-Bh concept at the 2012 Geneva auto show.

According to Toyota, a real-world reduction in global CO2 emissions is only possible with an affordable, ultra-low emissions vehicle that can be sold in high volumes and constructed from components and materials readily available in the industry. So no exotic rice door panels and popcorn seats for this concept, then…

The ultra-light concept weighs just 786kg which, coupled with its high aerodynamic qualities and low ride resistance, achieves an average fuel consumption of 2.1 litres/100km and emits 49g/km of CO2 emissions, the automaker says.


While the concept – at almost four metres long – is longer than the recently-lauched Yaris, thanks to a range of weight-saving techniques it is about 25% lighter than the hatchback (the one-litre model weighs around a ton). The FT-Bh’s low mass was achieved through using a combination of high-tensile steel, aluminium and magnesium in the concept.

The FT-Bh uses a full hybrid power train with a two-cylinder one-litre Atkinson cycle petrol engine that's almost 90kg lighter than the Hybrid Synergy Drive system currently used in Toyota’s headlining Prius.

The FT-Bh concept also shows improvements in energy recovery and Toyota reports a reduction in electricity consumption of almost 50%. This is done, by example, through an aircon system that focuses only on the parts of the car where people are sitting, the use of diode headlights, more efficient electric components and window glazing designed for maximum thermal efficiency.


The concept also shows off Toyota’s next-generation of aerodynamic techniques, among others, air-stream alloy rims, cameras in place of wing mirrors, latches rather than regular door handles and a rear that incorporates an air outlet slit.

It rides on low-resistance tyres, too.

The FT-Bh’s design, however, is slightly more off-beat with the roof panel, for example, representing the way fabric can be stretched, while Toyota’s current design language is evident in the concept’s grille and sculpted bonnet.

Two alternative power trains are planned for the “medium term”: a compressed natural-gas hybrid with CO2 emissions of 38g/km and a plug-in hybrid version emitting 19g/km.

See more from the 2012 Geneva auto show