Toyota debuts high efficiency FT-Bh concept at Geneva Motor Show

Andross Moonah - CAP staff
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Amidst the sea of exotic supercars and luxury vehicles at this year's Geneva Motor Show resides Toyota's FT-Bh concept. Touted as a lightweight, aerodynamic and exceptionally fuel-efficient hybrid, the FT-Bh concept is indicative of a future compact family car from the Japanese automaker.

As Toyota puts it, styling for the FT-Bh is inspired by the flow of air over exterior surfaces and demonstrates a new approach to vehicle design. Along with the convex and concave bodywork, the FT-Bh features a large undergrille at the front end as well as unconventional vertical headlights. Unusual features that have been incorporated to improve aerodynamic efficiency include electric latch doors that eliminate the need for door handles, and cameras in place of door mirrors.

Like its body, the FT-Bh concept's wheels are also unique. Measuring 18 inches in diameter, the air-stream alloy wheels are wrapped in low rolling resistance tires that have a width of 145 mm (5.7 inches) each, quite narrow in comparison to today's compact cars. Toyota says the significance of this wheel selection is a reduction in road load and driving resistance without any loss of grip or traction.

Inside, the FT-Bh offers seating for four occupants in white and blue Recaro seats, with the same colour scheme dominating the rest of the cabin. In a harmony with the exterior styling, the FT-Bh concept's interior shapes and structural architecture also exhibit convex and concave surfaces. The abstract shapes are used for such cabin fixtures as the central tunnel, door trim, steering wheel and even the instrumentation.  

The hybrid powertrain in the FT-Bh concept is comprised of a 2-cylinder, 1.0-litre Atkinson cycle gasoline engine with Toyota's D4 injection system as well as an electric motor. The claimed fuel economy is 2.1 L/100 km while C02 emissions are rated at 49 g/km. The impressive economy is attributed in large part to the FT-Bh concept's low weight of just 786 kg and a low drag coefficient of 0.235.

In addition to this FT-Bh hybrid concept, Toyota says there could also be a compressed natural gas hybrid (CNG-HV) version or a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) version. The claimed CO2 emissions of these two variants are rated at 38 g/km and 19 g/km respectively. As such technology already exists in the present day, the powertrain in Toyota's FT-Bh concept (and its subsequent variants) will likely go into production in the years to come.
©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: Hybrid, Toyota, 2012, FT-Bh Concept,

Organizations: Toyota

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