|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.