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Daihatsu UFE Concept Hybrid EV.
Four-passenger UFE employes Toyota's TMS gasoline-electric hybrid drive system to help achieve 130mpg fuel-efficiency.

UFE Means Ultra Fuel Economy

Daihatsu unveils UFE concept vehicle at 2001 Tokyo Auto Show

By EV World

The race appears to be on at Toyota to build the world's most fuel-efficient passenger vehicles. What began with the introduction of the Prius in 1997 has now found its expression in the UFE or Ultra-Fuel Efficiency concept vehicle from Daihatsu, a Toyota family company that specializes in mini cars and commercial trucks in Japan.

The 3.3 meter (11 feet-long) UFE concept vehicle can haul four passengers while achieving a unprecedented 55km/liter on the Japanese driving cycle. That's the equivalent of 130mpg or 2.7liters/100km using the European fuel efficiency standard. This surpasses the performance of the VW Lupo at about 90mpg and the Toyota ES3 concept vehicle, both of which utilize common-rail diesel engines to achieve their high efficiency.

The UFE makes use of lightweight composite materials to create a very slippery CD of 0.25. The gasoline engine is a 660-cm3 direct-injection prototype that is mated to Toyota's TMS electric-drive system.

The vehicle also introduces the new ASV or Advanced Safety Vehicle system that integrates in the UFE "full-range speed control for following a proceeding vehicle, speed control for curve negotiation and a lane-deviation warning system," according to Daihatsu's web site.

So far there is no word from Daihatsu as to whether or not the company plans to put the car into production.

The UFE is the only advanced technology vehicle in development at Daihatsu. The company has built what they call the world's first four-passenger, fuel cell mini-vehicle to use high pressure hydrogen, the FCV-K-II. It has also developed another hybrid, the ATRAI HYBRID-IV, a four passenger mini-minivan that makes use of the same 660cm3 engine and TMS HEV drive system.

Times Article Viewed: 4237
Published: 25-Jan-2002

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