Toyota's news at the 2012 Geneva motor show was the world premiere of the FT-Bh small car – a Yaris-sized supermini that's 25% lighter than the existing supermini. The FT-Bh weighs in at 786 kilograms.
And if you're wondering about those smoothed-off looks, it's all down to aero. This small car has an admirable 0.235 drag coefficient.
The FT-Bh is basically the epitome of everything Toyota knows about small cars. While it has no immediate production intent, its thinking will help shape the superminis of tomorrow. We'd certainly look twice at a Yaris shaped like this, we reckon.
Toyota FT-Bh: the lowdown
This is another hybrid Toyota – naturally – and its 1.0-litre Atkinson cycle petrol engine is paired to a full hybrid powertrain like on the Yaris hybrid for an average consumption of 135mpg and just 49g/km of CO2.
Considering this car is close in size to a Yaris (3985mm long, 1695mm wide, 1400mm tall), its emissions are roughly half that of a trad supermini, says Toyota.
Mated to a CNG engine, this powertrain would cut CO2 to just 38g/km, says Toyota. Add a plug-in element to the battery charging, and that tumbles to 19g/km. That's some claim.
How come the FT-Bh is so lightweight?
Thankfully, it's not down to exotic materials lurking on the pricey end of the periodic table. Toyota has cleverly stuck to existing materials to achieve that flyweight 786kg mass.
Thin pillars abound, to aid visibility and cut flab, and many of the learnings of the iQ are applied to this model. The engineers ended up in a virtuous circle where everything from climate controls to engines and suspension components could become lighter.
Helping achieve that low drag figure – and that tip-toe stance – are slender 145/55 R18 low rolling resistance tyres.
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