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With the recent launch of the Prius c sub-compact hybrid in North America and its European counterpart, the Yaris Hybrid, Toyota is looking at bringing its gasoline-electric technology further down-market.
Looking like a tiny minivan that’s fading off in the distance, the FT-Bh (unveiled today at the Geneva Motor Show) takes Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive to the city car segment popular in Europe and Japan. No details have been released about the powertrain but Toyota has said that with the car’s ultra low 0.235 coefficient of drag it expects a 2.1 l/100 km fuel economy rating – which roughly translates to 112 mpg. Of note, Toyota is also considering a possible plug-in hybrid version with a nearly unbelievable 0.8 l/100 km rating or… wait for it… 294 mpg.
Perhaps most importantly, says Toyota, the FT-Bh is not an ultra high-tech or ultra pricey model and doesn’t use expensive composites. The idea behind the car is to make an ultra fuel efficient four-seater vehicle that will still be affordable.
A concept for now, even if Toyota does push ahead to move the FT-Bh into production, don’t expect to see it on the roads for several years.
GALLERY: Toyota FT-Bh
Toyota has released a new selection of teaser images and a video, showing off some of the many angles on its upcoming FT-Bh Concept car. The hybrid mini-car is touted to have emissions roughly 50 percent lower than current segment competitors.
What really makes the FT-Bh a big deal, however, is that unlike some recent mini car concepts from the likes of BMW and Audi, the FT-Bh uses low-cost materials (ie. no carbon fiber) and economical production methods, allowing it to be an affordable machine. As a result, Toyota says it weighs less than 1,800 lbs – surprising when you consider the heavy electric components used in the hybrid powertrain.
To reach maximum efficiency Toyota has focused on five factors with this concept: low weight, aerodynamic performance, powertrain efficiency, thermal energy management and electricity saving.
GALLERY: Toyota FT-bh Concept
Watch the video below: