Wednesday October 22, 2003
Part of Daihatsu's line-up of ten prototype cars at the 37th Tokyo Motor Show, the UFE-II (Ultra Fuel Economy) is a drive-by-wire, four-seat hybrid minivehicle that achieves a formidable 60 km/l by utilising a 660cc direct fuel injection petrol engine engine and a twin-electric motor system.
The ultra-lightweight UFE has an aluminium and resin body that weighs just 570kg and its aerodynamic design, which is highlighted by a cut-tail teardrop silhouette, gull-wing doors and sophisticated lamp design, achieves an extremely low drag coefficient of 0.19 - the lowest of any car in the world according to the Daihatsu release.
The hybrid system combines a newly developed Atkinson 660cc direct fuel injection petrol engine with two motors running off a nickel-metal hydride battery.
The fuel economy figure for the UFE prototype of 60km/l can be compared with the world's first petrol/electric hybrid production car - the Honda Insight - which holds the Australian fuel economy record of 45.3 kml (128.4mpg) and has been driven from Brisbane to Melbourne on one tank of gas.
Other notable Daihatsu exhibits among the ten prototype cars and eight production models the company is presenting at the 37th Tokyo Motor Show include the D-BONE open-top sports 4WD prototype, a minimum sized 2 + 2 commuter with a convertible rear-cargo space called the ai (Attractive & Intelligent), and the XL-C compact sedan.