Toyota FT-Bh Hybrid Concept Car Design – a concept bringing efficiency to a new level – Concept designed to demonstrate minimised emissions within an economically viable framework – Design inspired by the natural flow of the air – 3,985 mm long combined with light weight body design resulting in a 786 kg mass – High level of aerodynamic performance resulting in a Coefficient of Drag (Cd) of just 0.235 – High efficiency 1.0-litre petrol, 2-cylinder, full hybrid powertrain – Aiming at 2.1 l/100 km and 49 g/km – a new milestone for a full hybrid powered vehicle Making its World Premiere at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, the FT-Bh concept is an ultra-light, sub-800 kg, full hybrid vehicle designed to lower fuel consumption and minimise emissions for an affordable B-segment family car. Clearly expressing the Under Priority design language and Keen Look styling of Toyota’s next generation vehicles, the FT-Bh has the dimensions of a B-segment vehicle. It is 3,985 mm long, 1,695 mm wide and 1,400 mm high, with a long wheelbase of 2,570 mm. The new concept’s design is driven by 5 key pillars targeting optimum fuel efficiency and minimised emissions: Mass Reduction; Driving Resistance in the form of aerodynamics and tyre rolling resistance; Powertrain Efficiency; Thermal Energy Management and Electricity Saving. Combining a highly significant reduction in weight for a car of this class with painstaking aerodynamics, a rigorous reduction in driving resistance and a frugal yet highly efficient full hybrid powertrain, the FT-Bh concept is projected to deliver an average fuel consumption of just 2.1 l/100 km and CO2 emissions of only 49 g/km. The FT-Bh targets CO2 emissions which are less than half those of the current 1.0 litre Yaris. But only through the mass-production of an affordable ultra-low emissions vehicle can sales volumes be large enough to make a genuine contribution to the real world reduction of total vehicle CO2 emissions on a global scale. Aimed, therefore, at maximum affordability, the techniques and thought processes demonstrated in the concept’s design do not involve the use of exotic, expensive materials or complex procedures, but only those already commonplace to the automotive industry. Moreover, the goals of light vehicle weight, a low centre of gravity and maximum powertrain efficiency are beneficial not only in terms of low fuel consumption and emissions, but also in offering a more responsive, agile and engaging driving experience. Design Styled under the ‘Ecomotion’ theme, the FT-Bh concept’s exterior design combines emotive shapes with an extremely high level of aerodynamic performance to achieve ultra-low fuel consumption.
Its form inspired almost entirely by the natural flow of air over the exterior surfaces, the concept represents a new approach to bodywork design. Key panels such as the roof are formed to represent fabric stretched taut between fastening points, reflecting their ultra-lightweight composition. Inheriting elements of Toyota’s Under Priority design language and Keen Look styling, the front of the vehicle is dominated by a large undergrille, a powerfully sculpted bonnet and vertical headlamps integrated into the front wings. The stretched fabric styling of the roof panels adds a feeling of lightness to the vehicle. This is further emphasised by ultra-slim A- and C-pillars which maximise the glazed area of the cockpit for improved visibility and perceived cabin spaciousness. The FT-Bh’s arch-shaped rear creates a stable stance with low centre of gravity. With the cabin merging seamlessly into the rear of the vehicle, an uplifted rear bumper and crisp, chevron-shaped corner elements, the styling optimises aerodynamic performance, contributing to a low drag coefficient of only 0.235 Cd. The stretched fabric panel design theme is continued throughout the car’s interior styling, and is readily apparent in the form of the centre console, dashboard, seats and steering wheel. The concave form of the centre console creates a driver-focused cockpit whilst maintaining a feeling of both lightness and spaciousness. Reduced Overall Mass Fabricated in a combination of high-tensile steel, aluminium and magnesium, the FT-Bh concept targets an overall mass reduction of some 25% over the 1,030 kg 1.0 litre Yaris, bringing its total weight down to just 786 kg. Because the hybrid powertrain is marginally heavier than a conventional 1.0 litre engine, the overall mass reduction required of the bodyshell, interior trim, chassis and electronics is actually some 340 kg, or 33% of the Yaris’ weight. Conversely, the FT-Bh’s full hybrid powertrain adds some 60 kg in weight to the concept. Toyota engineers have identified reduction targets of 33% for the body and chassis –with no detriment to safety performance- and 27% for the powertrain and electronics. With a body-in-white mass reduction of 20-25%, key to achieving a total mass reduction of over 30% is a reduction in the weight of interior parts and trim by approximately 50%. This is reflected in the minimalist interior design of the FT-Bh concept, which features the minimum of structure and lightweight components of high torsional stiffness to combine superior ergonomics and functionality with the lowest possible weight.
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