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Daihatsu and Suzuki Readying More Fuel-Efficient Minicars to Compete with Hybrids

Nikkei Daihatsu Motor Co., the Toyota Group’s minicar specialist, and Suzuki Motor Corp. both are developing gasoline-powered minivehicles with a fuel efficiency comparable to that of hybrid cars.

As early as next year, Daihatsu will debut a minivehicle with an engine that automatically shuts off when the vehicle is at a stop. Trimming the vehicle’s weight by 100 kg from the current 800 kg will also help to boost overall fuel economy by 20%. It will be able to travel more than 30 km per liter [70.6 mpg US, 3.33 L/100 km], similar to hybrids sold by Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co.

...Suzuki will overhaul its mainstay engine, which has been in wide use since the mid-1990s. The automaker is expected to roll out a vehicle with a newly developed engine in two years. It will feature such gas-saving technologies as a continuously variable transmission.

Minivehicles currently on the market in Japan features with displacements of 660cc or less, run 20-25 km per liter (47-59 mpg US, 5-4 L/100 km), and are priced at around ¥1.2 million (US$13,300). Both companies reportedly see electric motors for minivehicles as being cost-prohibitive.



It will be able to travel more than 30 km per liter [70.6 mpg US, 3.33 L/100 km],

Is that measured by the Japanese testing cycle?


It is about time the minicar people caught up with the developments in the hybrid and "normal" car space.

They are limited by law to very small cars with very small engines, so they should be very efficient, but had got a bit lardy of late.

Lets see what they can do, using all the fuel saving techniques that the rest of the motoring industry has developed.

As they say, they are heavily constrained by price, so they will have to chose carefully.

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