Back at the 2009 Tokyo Motor Show, Toyota subsidiary Daihatsu unveiled the e:S. Dubbed an eco-car that "reveals the future role of mini vehicles," the e:S packs a 660-cc gasoline engine, measures a tick over seven feet and tips the scales at 1,540 pounds.
Daihatsu aims to launch the e:S this September in Japan and, while its price tag of 800,000 yen ($9,844 U.S. at the current exchange rate) makes it a bargain, its fuel consumption of 70.6 miles per gallon (U.S.) as measured under Japan's national standard is absolutely remarkable. The e:S' fuel economy nearly matches the official rating of the Japanese-spec Toyota Prius, yet undercuts the hybrid's price tag by 1,205,000 yen ($15,261 U.S.).
Toru Ueda, executive chief engineer of Daihatsu's technology division, says of the e:S:
In regards to the e:S' fuel efficiency and its bargain-basement price tag, we'd have to say that, come September, Ueda's aim will be a reality. For some, anyway. We may want numbers like these here in the U.S., but we won't get them.We were aiming to create a car that was cheap with good gas mileage. I would like to put it to you that this car should be seen as a third type of eco car, along with electric and hybrid vehicles.