Toyota teases new hybrid concept car

Days ahead of its debut at the Geneva Auto Show, Toyota has released a teaser video and a few images of its new hybrid concept car, the FT-Bh. 

Styled in Japan, the concept follows Toyota’s long-established naming convention where “FT” stands for Future Toyota, “B” references the vehicle’s size and “h” references its hybrid engine. 

B-segment cars are also known as “superminis” and include models like the Ford Fiesta, Volkswagen Polo, Opel Corsa, Citroën DS3, and the Peugeot 207.

What Toyota has chosen to reveal thus far are some sexy glamor shots of a headlamp and the rear of the car – complete with illuminated brake lights. In an accompanying video, we see a bit of the interior styling, a close-up walk around of the rear of the car as well as the concept’s hybrid badging.

Toyota said the concept will produce up to 50 percent less CO2 than the class average for B-segment cars. To reach its emission and fuel efficiency goals, the Japanese automaker says it’s focused on five design and construction themes. 

Among the most important of those themes seems to be lightness, as the new FT-Bh weighs in at under 1,763 pounds, making it lighter than a three-door Toyota Aygo mini-compact. At the same time, it offers the space of a larger five-door supermini.

Engineers also worked to improve the car’s powertrain efficiency, aerodynamic performance as well as its thermal energy management and electricity consumption.

Toyota says that its goals for the Ft-Bh were not achieved by using exotic materials or expensive production techniques.

From the outset, the auto manufacturer determined the FT-Bh would be made using commonplace, economically viable production methods and technologies, including a down-sized full hybrid powertrain.

Even though the FT-Bh is still technically a concept, it appears the car is headed for production. However Toyota has yet to release details of when the car will go into production, when it will be available and what markets will get the car.

Once the company formally takes the wraps off the car in Geneva, we should have the car’s fuel economy and performance figures.

* Steve Duda, EarthTechling