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.