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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 is taking big steps towards moving hybrids down-market. At the upcoming Geneva Motor Show the Japanese automaker will unveil the production version of its Yaris Hybrid and that’s just the start. Also set to be revealed is what Toyota is calling the FT-Bh concept.
A size down from even the sub-compact Yaris, look for the FT-Bh to be iQ sized. Toyota says it will be a full-hybrid and be “ultra-lightweight”, and yet don’t expect the use of pricey composite materials like carbon fiber. Instead, Toyota says the car will utilize materials that are currently commonplace in the industry. In a release, the automaker says the city car is designed to, “achieve low emissions within an economically viable production framework,” meaning that it is most certainly already cued for production.
Numerous other concept cars will be on display at the Toyota booth, including the NS4 and FCV-R Concepts. The NS4 is a look at an all-new hybrid from Toyota, while the FCV-R uses a hydrogen fuel cell powertrain and is targeted for sale by 2015.
Joining those two will be Toyota’s diji concept, looking at the future of car-driver interaction and personalization.
And let’s not forget the European premiere of the Toyota GT 86 sports car.