Supermini concept points to the future for Toyota's radical hybrid range
19 March 2012

This Geneva motor show concept outlines Toyota’s vision of a hybrid family supermini for 2020. The FT-Bh, which stands for ‘Future Toyota B-segment hybrid’, offers a claimed fuel economy of 134.5mpg and CO2 emissions of 49g/km. It is powered by a two-cylinder, 1.0-litre petrol engine, developed specifically for the concept and mated to a special version of Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive electric motor, which is almost 90kg lighter than in the Prius.

The FT-Bh is a similar size to the Toyota Yaris, while the car’s shape is optimised for aerodynamic efficiency, with a 0.235 drag coefficient, which is below the current average for a supermini.

Whereas the 1.0-litre Yaris weighs 1030kg, the FT-Bh tips the scales at just 786kg thanks to the use of high-tensile steel, aluminium and magnesium in the construction process. Toyota has also focused on thermal efficiency, low driving resistance and a reduction in the amount of energy used by the car’s electrical components.

The FT-Bh has also been conceived as a CNG-powered car or a plug-in hybrid, with the latter producing 19g/km of CO2. Although the FT-Bh is a show concept, it has been developed using existing motor industry technology that would, in theory, enable it to be produced at a competitive price for a high-volume B-segment supermini.

Koji Makino, project manager for Toyota’s advanced vehicle project, said: “It could be produced, maybe in the 2020s, but at this moment the company hasn’t decided whether it will go into production. If there is demand, then we should build it.” It is more likely that the lightweight, fuel-efficient thinking behind the FT-Bh will be seen on future cars.

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Car review
    23 September 2016
    Aston kicks off its ‘second century plan’ with an all-new turbo V12 grand tourer
  • Ford Ka+ 1.2 Ti-VCT 85
    First Drive
    22 September 2016
    A rounded, refined and well-sorted bargain supermini – once you’re used to the confusing role redefinition imposed on the once-cheeky Ka
  •  Maserati Ghibli Diesel
    First Drive
    22 September 2016
    Maserati releases another range of updates for its range best seller, the Ghibli. We've driven the diesel version, but there's little improvement on before
  • Tipo Front
    First Drive
    21 September 2016
    New Fiat Tipo offers impressive space and practicality for a reasonable price. We try the 1.6 diesel on the demanding roads of North Wales
  • Seat Ateca 1.4 TSI 150
    First Drive
    20 September 2016
    The Seat Ateca 1.4 TSI 150 makes perfect sense: it's spacious, tidy to drive for an SUV and cheap to run