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Toyota introduces next-generation B-segment hybrid with 112 mpg US; CNG hybrid and plug-in variants

6 March 2012

Ftbh
FT-Bh. Click to enlarge.

Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) unveiled the FT-Bh (Future Toyota B-segment Hybrid), a lightweight, next-generation small gasoline-electric hybrid concept car at the 82nd Geneva International Motor Show.

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). In addition to the FT-Bh on display, TMC said it has conceived two alternative versions: 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.

By pursuing weight reduction, a more-efficient powertrain and reduced air resistance, the FT-Bh offers fuel consumption of 2.1 liters per 100 kilometers (112 mpg US) under the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC), with CO2 emissions of 49 g/km—less than half the current average for B-segment cars.

Adopting a small fuel tank placed under the rear seat together with the hybrid system’s lithium-ion battery gives the vehicle a low center of gravity, thus contributing to improved driving performance.

TMC highlighted five elements contributing to the very low fuel consumption:

  • Reduced mass. The curb weight of the FT-Bh is 786 kg (1,733 lb). Assuming a mass-produced fuel-efficient vehicle, the FT-Bh body structure makes greater use of high-tensile-strength steel and does not require expensive materials such as carbon fiber for weight reduction. In addition, a new high-expansion foam material is used inside the vehicle to improve interior thermal management and reduce the weight of interior components. This allows other components, including the body frame, chassis and powertrain, to be made lighter.

  • Reduced road and air resistance. The FT-Bh seats four adults in a body that is less than four meters long and that achieves a low drag coefficient of just 0.235. The newly developed Michelin 145/55R18 tires feature a large diameter for effective road resistance reduction, and a narrow width for substantial air resistance and weight reduction.

  • Efficient powertrain. For a high level of fuel efficiency, TMC developed a new, long stroke 1.0-liter, two-cylinder Atkinson cycle gasoline engine, along with improved hybrid system efficiency.

  • Effective thermal energy management. Through the application of high-expansion foam material to interior and weight reduction in the materials used for the seating and interior, the thermal capacity necessary for controlling cabin temperature is reduced. In addition, comprehensive thermal management measures have been implemented, such as “air-zoning” that adjusts temperature only in necessary areas depending on the number of passengers. Due to small amount of heat generated by high-efficiency engines, heat from both the engine and exhaust is used for heating the interior.

  • Reduced power consumption. Power consumption in the FT-Bh has been cut to half that of standard B-segment cars. The adoption of LEDs in the head, tail and room lights, and reduction of standby power requirements necessary for electrical components such as power windows has substantially reduced overall power consumption.

Safety-enhancement features include a center display located deep in the dashboard that shows rear views from three body-mounted cameras, and a rear-view mirror with an ambient superimposed display that provides information and warnings concerning vehicles reflected in the mirror and also other driver-targeted information.

This concept shows what can be done when every aspect of the car is designed to reduce emissions. In fact it combines full hybrid efficiency, advanced aerodynamics and ultra-lightness. All achieved at a cost-level appropriate for a high-volume B-segment car...Having achieved such impressive results in a small car, we will be able to transfer the benefits to larger Toyotas.

—Didier Leroy, President and CEO of Toyota Motor Europe

In addition to the FT-Bh world premiere, the Toyota booth at the Geneva Motor Show features four vehicles in their European premiere: the next-generation four-door Toyota NS4 concept, the FCV-R next-generation fuel-cell hybrid sedan concept, the Toyota diji mobile-information-hub concept, and the rear-wheel-drive compact sports car GT 86. Also on display are vehicles soon to be launched in the European market, including the Yaris Hybrid and Prius Plug-in Hybrid.

March 6, 2012 in Hybrids, Natural Gas, Plug-ins | Permalink | Comments (12) | TrackBack (0)

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I love the idea of CNG hybrids where you can refuel at home for the gallon of gas equivalent of about $1 per gallon...I hope these will eventually come in all shapes and sizes and fit every budget - not just the rich 1%.

http://www.autoobserver.com/2011/03/brc-fuelmaker-again-selling-phill-home-cng-fuel-station.html


In the US there already exists an infrastructure that could easily be adapted to fueling NG powered cars and trucks.The bottled gas used in campers and Bar-B-Que grills could be easily adapted for trips and "get home" use.

I would buy one, provided its done right and wasn't overpriced.


Several years ago I sent emails to the manufacturers of expanded polypropylene(EPP) advising them of the potential automotive market for their material.

It's possible to build a very lightweight structure and fill all of its voids with EPP to achieve several desirable results. As listed above and added to: Insulation, strength, Noise reduction, Crash safety and a number of other useful advantages. Done right, it could even replace the irritating Air bag.

This is the future of vehicle design. I'm glad to see it getting started.

Make it look less fugly and it might catch on!

CNG compressors for the home like Fuelmaker take a while and do not get full pressure. They can take hours to get to 2000 psi, which is short of the 3000/3600 psi rating of the tanks, that means less range.

Im interrested to buy their FCV-R next-generation fuel-cell hybrid sedan . The only obtacle is big oil money that have been given to many folks to avoid hydrogen at all cost. All bad battery proponents lose tons of money like volt, tesla, imiev, fisker-karma, battery makers of all creeds, all these folks received ton of subsidies indirectly from big oil and associated goverments but they don't make any money from normal commercialisation with consumers, so consumers rejected wholehearthedly most battery cars.

This is another great step forward by Toyota. From lighter cars will come more efficient electrified vehicles. Our 120 lbs ladies do not have to go to work or shopping or drive the kids to school in 5000+ lbs, 15 MPG monsters on wheels. The same can be said about our teenagers and 180 lbs unemployed or employed men. Why lug 20 to 30 times your weight with you to go from A to Z.

Most future short and/or long range electrified vehicles will weight less than one tonne and will transport us more efficiently.

They should at least get an award for ugliness.

I've always been a "form follows function" kind of guy. This car achieves a low drag coefficient of just 0.235 - enough said.

Well said ai_vin.

So, if I stop almost all driving after 9PM, and don't start until 6AM, I can almost refill a not quite empty CNG car at home with Phill. But I'll never get it quite full because of Phill pressure limits. Given CNG public refuel availability, a dual fuel car still makes more sense, and we had those a decade ago.
So I pay a premium for the car + a Phill, and get a <3x reduction in fuel cost - so what is the payback? Assume 10k miles per year and 50 mpge w/<$4 gas: 200 gals w/~$2.5 advantage gives ~$500/year. That gives <7 year payback on just the Phill! Then there is the car premium plus finding remote fillups! This is still a fleet solution folks!
Li battery prices are coming down, and ICE mileage is going up, so I'll wait a while yet for my next buggy. Meanwhile, my second vehicle is now an Escooter!

No public CNG fuel near me. Pass. Good mileage if it goes further than vaporware.

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