Pushing the envelope
Using feasible, commonly available technologies, just how far, practically speaking, can we develop today’s hybrids? Toyota asked the question and answered it with the FT-Bh concept shown at Geneva.
At just 800 kg, with a 0,235 drag coefficient (typical minicar equivalent: 0,29) and a highefficiency two-cylinder 1,0-litre powertrain, it averages 2,1 litres/100 km and 49 g/km of CO2 emissions. Yet this is a vehicle of real-world proportions, with adequate room for occupants.
The Toyota engineers concentrated their energies on weight, drag, powertrain efficiency, electricity saving and heat
High-tensile steel, aluminium and magnesium helped cut the weight to 786 kg. The spinoff, says Toyota, is less load on the overall structure, so other components – including the engine – could be made smaller. Not immediately obvious, but crucial, are aero improvements. These include air curtain intakes in the nose, streamlined wheels, an air outlet slit in the rear and an underfloor spoiler. Some unconventional solutions to conventional methods were used: cameras instead of airflowmuddling mirrors, and latches instead of doorhandles. The car uses 45/55R18 low rolling resistance tyres.
Electrical components were specially chosen for their efficiency – LED headlights, for example – and thermally optimal materials include special glass and paint. To further save energy, the air conditioning is directed only to where people are sitting.