2012 Geneva Auto ShowJust the Facts:
- The Toyota FT-Bh Concept, which hints at a future fuel-efficient Toyota that could be powered by compressed natural gas, was unveiled at the 2012 Geneva Auto Show.
- The FT-Bh Concept, which could also take the form of a plug-in hybrid, achieves an average of 134.5 mpg, said Toyota.
- The FT-Bh Concept, which looks like a baby Prius, weighs just 1,733 pounds.
GENEVA — The Toyota FT-Bh Concept, which hints at a future fuel-efficient Toyota that could be powered by compressed natural gas, was unveiled at the 2012 Geneva Auto Show. The Toyota concept underscores recurring themes here — the need to strip down vehicle weight, offer alternative-fuel powertrains and keep affordability at the forefront, especially as gas prices continue their upward march at the pump.
The FT-Bh Concept, which could also take the form of a plug-in hybrid, achieves an average of 134.5 mpg, said Toyota. The FT-Bh Concept, which looks like a baby Prius, weighs just 1,733 pounds. Weight savings was achieved by using a combination of high-tensile steel, aluminum and magnesium, said Toyota.
The name is an acronym for Future Toyota B-segment hybrid. It is powered by a full hybrid drive system that Toyota says is almost 198 pounds lighter than the Hybrid Synergy Drive system used in the current Prius. The concept gets an electric motor, along with a two-cylinder 1.0-liter gas engine.
"It serves as a study for how even greater fuel efficiency might be achieved in the medium term by using two alternative powertrains," said Toyota in a statement. "A compressed natural gas hybrid with 38g/km CO2 emissions and a plug-in hybrid, emitting just 19g/km."
The concept also points to automakers' renewed interest in compressed natural gas as a viable alternative to gasoline. On Monday, General Motors said it would offer a natural-gas option on the 2013 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra 2500 heavy-duty pickup trucks.
Design elements focus on boosting the car's aerodynamics. They include air curtain intakes on the front of the bodywork, air-stream alloy wheels, the replacement of door mirrors with cameras, latches in place of door handles and a pagoda-style roof with a dropped rear section.
Even the amount of electricity the car uses for exterior and interior lighting has been cut by half of that of conventional cars.
The concept was unveiled on a day when the average price of a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline stood at $3.76 in the U.S., a 26-cent increase over the price a year ago, according to the AAA Daily Fuel Gauge.
Edmunds.com says: A baby Toyota Prius powered by natural gas may not be just a pipe dream.