Toyota has been teasing the world with truncated images of its next-generation FT-Bh for a while, and as promised, today at the Geneva Motor Show it unveiled the lightweight hybrid that could offer as high as 112 mpg in the U.S.
Regarding European testing, Toyota said, “the FT-Bh boasts a fuel efficiency of 2.1 liters per 100 kilometers under the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC), with CO2 emissions of just 49 g/km—less than half the current average for B-segment cars.”
In addition to the FT-Bh on display, TMC has two alternative concept versions it says it could produce: a compressed natural gas (CNG) hybrid version with CO2 emissions of 38 g/km and a plug-in hybrid version with CO2 emissions of just 19 g/km.
The concept’s name is derived from “Future Toyota B-segment Hybrid” and that pretty well sums it up.
The 1,729-pound hybrid shown is motivated by a THS II system utilizing a lithium-ion battery merged with 1.0-liter two-cylinder, long-stroke Atkinson cycle gasoline engine that drives the front wheels.
It positions its small fuel tank under the rear seat along with the hybrid system’s battery pack to provide a low center of gravity for improved handling.
Toyota says the concept comfortably seats four adults in an aerodynamic body boasting a coefficient of drag of 0.235. Dimensions are approximately 13-feet, 4-inches long, 5-feet, 6-inches wide, and 4-feet, 7-inches tall.
As previously reported, Toyota says it has found ways to mass-produce the vehicle with more economical materials. These would include high-tensile steel instead of carbon fiber in places where competitors have chosen the more expensive material.
Further, a new high-expansion foam is used as insulation to improve thermal management without excessive weight.
Just as insulating spray foam works to seal out drafts around household applications – or as it helps to insulate a thermos bottle – the expansion foam used in the FT-Bh insulates it on the same principle to keep it cool or warm inside as the required.
Additionally, Toyota says “comprehensive thermal management measures have been implemented, such as “air-zoning” that adjusts temperature only in necessary areas depending on the number of passengers.”
Since the high-efficiency powertrain generates little heat, cabin warming is augmented by heat captured from the exhaust system.
Other energy saving tricks include LED lights inside and out, low-energy electric windows and a number of other ways to cut electrical system draw.
Toyota is displaying other advanced hybrids as well, but did not offer a price estimate or production date for the FT.Bh at this point of its world premier. Instead it offered basic data and images of the actual car, while explaining when this new concept became a gleam in Toyota Motor Company’s eye.
“TMC, expecting hybrid vehicle use to become widespread in the second half of the 2010s, developed the FT-Bh as a B-segment, ultra fuel-efficient concept car under the theme of “ecomotion” (eco + emotion),” the company said. “In addition to high environmental performance, the FT-Bh aims to provide an enjoyable driving experience through highly responsive and nimble operability.”