Daihatsu's HVS (Hybrid Vehicle Sports), which debuted at last month's Frankfurt show, is a small, cute, lightweight sports car concept with a tidy, two-seat cabin and a hybrid four-wheel-drive drivetrain. The front-mounted, 107-hp, 1.5-liter DOHC gasoline engine is mated to an electric motor, while a second motor at the rear drives the right and left wheels separately via a drive control mechanism for improved high-speed cornering stability.
The payoff, Daihatsu claims, is power that is the equivalent of a 2.0-liter engine but fuel economy that betters that of a conventional 1.0-liter car. (Such microcars are common in Japan.) Daihatsu claims an astounding 35 kilometers per liter of fuel--or 99 mpg--in Japan's 10.15-mode fuel cycle.