Toyota showcases latest hybrid technologies07 March 2012
Toyota's new FT-Bh concept is a vehicle designed to take the efficiency of full hybrid vehicles to new heights. Making its debut at the Geneva motor show, it is an ultra-light concept, weighing less than 800kg, which demonstrates what can be achieved in terms of fuel consumption and CO2 emissions in an affordable family supermini.
Thanks to its low weight, exceptional aerodynamic quality, very low driving resistance and its highly efficient powertrain, FT-Bh can achieve an average 134.5mpg fuel consumption and 49g/km CO2 emissions.
Those figures are from a vehicle that is close in size to today's Yaris, at 3,985mm long, 1,695mm wide and 1,400mm tall, with a 2,570mm wheelbase. The emissions are about half the level of those produced by a 1.0-litre Yaris.
In their mission to achieve the best possible fuel economy and emissions, the design team focused on five key areas: reducing weight; driving resistance (including aerodynamic and tyre performance); powertrain efficiency; thermal energy management; and electricity savings.
The target for FT-Bh was a 25 per cent saving on the 1-litre Yaris's 1,030kg kerb weight. Using a combination of high-tensile steel, aluminium and magnesium in the construction has trimmed the weight to just 786kg.
In fact, because the hybrid powertrain is heavier than the three-cylinder 1.0-litre engine (weighing about 60kg), the combined mass of the bodyshell, interior trim, chassis and electronics had to be reduced by around 340kg - one third of Yaris's weight - to achieve the target.
FT-Bh's full hybrid drive system is a masterpiece of powertrain downsizing. With substantial weight savings in every driveline component, it is almost 90kg lighter than theHybrid Synergy Drivesystem used in today's Prius.
The lightweight, two-cylinder, 1-litre Atkinson cycle petrol engine combines high efficiency with low thermal capacity and benefits with detailed measures to increase combustion efficiency and reduce friction. As a result, FT-Bh achieves an average fuel consumption of 134.5mpg and CO2 emissions of just 49g/km.
The car's light weight makes it agile and responsive to throttle and brakes, and thanks to its electric motor delivering maximum torque from standstill, it is nimble, too.
FT-Bh demonstrates the adaptability of Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drivetechnology. It serves as a study for how even greater fuel efficiency might be achieved in the medium term by using two alternative powertrains: a compressed natural gas hybrid (CNG-HV), with 38g/km CO2 emissions; and a Plug-in hybrid (PHEV), emitting just 19g/km.
Toyota Motor Manufacturing (UK) Ltd
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