Toyota FT-Bh: exclusive pictures

28 Mar, 2012 1:00pm Andrew English

Ultra-lightweight Toyota FT-Bh Concept claims sub-50g/km CO2, and previews the next-generation Yaris

Toyota is exploring how far it can push the boundaries of fuel efficiency with a car that previews the next-generation Yaris. 

The company has revealed the FT-Bh concept, and advanced vehicles project manager Koji Makino told Auto Express: “I hate exotic materials. Do you buy your Yaris or Aygo in carbon fibre? No: these materials make cars too expensive.”

Extremely low weight, great aerodynamics and a hybrid engine allow this four-seater to claim 134.5mpg and 49g/km CO2 emissions. Add plug-in capability and the CO2 figure drops to only 19g/km.

The production FT-Bh has a proposed retail price of £15,000 and will be made of steel. The target weight is 768kg – that’s 270kg less than a Yaris – and the 1.0-litre, two-cylinder petrol engine weighs only 60kg.

The engine drives a compact version of the new Yaris hybrid’s petrol-electric system, but with an advanced lithium-ion battery. The aerodynamic body has a drag coefficient of 0.235. Cameras replace the mirrors, there are no regular door handles, plus the car has small, efficient air intakes and an aerodynamic rear undertray.

Inside, the FT-Bh is heavily insulated to reduce the energy required to heat up and cool down the cabin. Half the trim is made of plant materials, while the other half is man-made. “Less interior, less thermal capacity, so less to heat up and cool down,” said Makino.

Heat management is a key part of the FT-Bh’s technology. It maintains cabin temperatures with heat-reflective glass and matt white heat-reflective paint.

Even the dashboard is minimised to reduce weight and electricity consumption: it uses an LED-style display made of electrically conductive paper. “As we can’t reduce the weight of the driver, we have to reduce the weight of everything else,” added Makino.

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Everything else about this car is to like, but not the looks :-(

After being bashed by so many groups of 'right-on' society and treated like a criminal for having the audacity to admit to enjoying driving, this is what car enthusiasts have to look forward to from the manufacturers themselves?

I appreciate economical cars and practical designs as much as any supercar, but this design leaves me feeling like this is a white goods appliance to transport you between two places - it is not a car.

I thought Toyota produced some ugly styless cars, but this has been well and truly smacked with the ugly stick to within an inch of its life!
If i had to drive this monstrosity, my head would be in a brown paper bag.

It beats Citroen Ami 6's styling, so far my favorite!
Designed by a Kindergarten student high on Twinkies?

But mind you not: it's not an optical illusion, it just looks like one!

The rear looks like a CRX or Citreon. I'm not sure what the rear headroom will be like but I think it looks good. Keeping the weight down should make it fun to drive. Lets hope there's a turbo option on that 1.0l motor.

The driver can.

The car's front end looks like it is crying. Maybe a portend of things to come, or not, for that matter!