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12/11/2011 1533

Daihatsu - UFE

Original name: ダイハツ UFE

UFE (concept car: Ultra Fuel Economy)

Daihatsu has remained faithful to the compact car, attaching priority to friendlier coexistence between cars, humanity, and the global environment; and to ensure cars will retain their attraction for a long time to come, Daihatsu has extended the challenge to the development of a new powertrain. Daihatsu’s involvement with electric vehicles goes back almost four decades, giving it the longest experience of any Japanese motor manufacturer. With a diverse range of electric vehicles to its credit, including concept cars, commercial models and special vehicles, Daihatsu’s quest for a more fuel efficient, super-clean engine has already led to the presentation here at Geneva of two concept cars: the hybrid Move EV-H in 1998 and the Move EV-H II in 2001.

For 2002 we are unveiling a hybrid UFE that sets a next-generation ultra fuel economy standard by running 55 km on a litre of petrol.

Fuel efficient technology

In the search for aerodynamic advantage, we have realized a drag coefficient of Cd 0.25, placing the UFE’s aerodynamic characteristics among the world’s best. Also contributing greatly to enhanced fuel economy is a reduced body weight. An ultra-light vehicle weight of 630 kg has been achieved by adopting a resin composite body complemented by the extensive use of aluminium in the brake system, seat frames and elsewhere. And a high fuel economy hybrid system of two-motor type has been adopted that incorporates a highly efficient, direct injection petrol engine into the powertrain.

The UFE has made next-generation ultra fuel economy a reality by linking all other technology and systems in the vehicle to fuel efficiency. Examples of features contributing to reduced electricity consumption are the twin-bulb HID headlamps, LED rear combination lamps, and electric power steering. Also essential for fuel economy have been the development of low rolling resistance tyres and the adoption of hydraulic adaptive regenerative braking.

This wealth of advanced technology has realized an astonishing fuel efficiency of 55 km/litre (Japanese 10-15 mode, Daihatsu test data).


The power unit utilizes a hybrid system combining the two electric motors with a direct injection petrol engine, and compact, lightweight, highly efficient AC synchronous motors both the generator and drive motor. The generator, combining with a planetary gear mechanism, functions as an electronically controlled continuously variable transmission. All equipment down to the inverter has been integrated into a single compact unit.

This hybrid system enables the engine to be controlled so that it operates on the high efficiency line at all times; automatically switches modes between “motor only”, “series” and “parallel” according to the conditions of the battery, road speed and acceleration etc. The hybrid system also stops the engine when the car is stationary to avoid wasting energy. A direct injection petrol engine was chosen to provide the sought-after ultra fuel economy and low emission level.

The UFE has a regenerative braking system in which the motor acts as a generator during braking, converting kinetic energy into electricity to be stored in the battery. The regenerative braking system is very effective in urban traffic conditions where acceleration and braking are frequent. The braking system combines regenerative brakes and conventional hydraulic brakes in an optimum way to recover energy most efficiently. The battery for the hybrid system is a compact nickel metal hydride battery carried under the rear luggage compartment floor.

To achieve world leading fuel efficiency of 55 km/L (Japanese emission mode), the UFE also reduces electricity consumption in all areas including its 12-V electrical system, uses aluminium alloys to cut weight , and is constructed to decrease Cd and reduce rolling resistance.

Safety technology

The UFE is richly endowed with technology for safety on the road. Notably, the vehicle carries various active safety systems (brake control for reducing impact, cruise control for following vehicle [across the entire road speed range], speed control in entering curve, lane keeping system), together with night vision capable of identifying objects out of reach of the headlamp beams and an advanced front-lighting system that shifts the beam in the steering direction, all developed as our own original technologies.

The vehicle is also provided with diverse impact safety functions including impact-safe body with new frame structure TAF (Total Advanced Function body), dual SRS airbags, SRS curtain shield airbags and SRS side airbags, dynamic support head restraints, knee airbags, and so on.

Exterior and interior design

We have created a super-aerodynamic body form that combines a cut-tail teardrop silhouette providing the required aerodynamics with the latest in parts technology to give an exterior design with superb aerodynamic characteristics. As a result, Cd 0.25 has been achieved.

The interior design creates an interior space with a flowing image, extending the basic geometric lines of instrument panel like the bird wing towards the wall-integrated rear lounge seats.

SOURCE: Daihatsu


Engine & performance:

Type: 3-cylinder direct injection gasoline engine + electric motor (Permanent-magnet type synchronous)

Capacity: 659 cc

Drive: FWD


Length: 3395 mm

Width: 1475 mm

Height: 1475 mm

Wheelbase: 2380 mm

Weight: 630 kg


2001  Tokyo
2002  Geneva

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