I’ve always wanted to have a Prius, but didn’t have the “tim€” and “$pace” for one up to now. Good news are on the way, as Toyota is planning a smaller variation of the Prius – the FT-CH. Cheaper and smaller, the FT-CH is addressing the younger segment of the green-trendy population.
The car will be a hybrid in its full sense, but replacing some of the hydraulic and mechanical parts used in the Prius with a drive-by-wire system, thus reducing weight and increasing the car’s sportiness and fuel efficiency. Also, the FT-CH will brag a low 80 g/km of CO2.
An EV-only mode will be present on the FT-CH, and you’ll be able to cruise for a few miles with a maximum speed of 40mph. Even though it’s 22-inches shorter than the Prius, the FT-CH only ceases interior its space with one inch, so you won’t notice any discomfort in sitting in the back (you know what I mean, if you ever sat in the back of a Prius).
The 60 kW electric motor will be accompanied by a 1.6 L petrol engine, coupled to a very efficient CVT transmission, so the car will probably have around 100 horsepower on gasoline and another 81 hp electric. Having 180 hp in a sporty sprint won’t make you feel any shame of having a hybrid car. Not to mention the electric motor has huge torque from the instant you push the pedal.
The FT-CH will be around 5700 euros cheaper than the Prius, and will be launched in 2012. I can hardly wait for it. One advice for Toyota, though: make that battery bigger, so it consumes less gasoline and more electricity.