A large amount of plastic is used for the outer panels of the "Thor/Roomy/Tank" compact minivan that Daihatsu Motor Co Ltd and Toyota Motor Corp released Nov 9, 2016, in the aim of suppressing increase in mass.
The way of using plastic for outer panels is basically the same as the method employed for the new "Boon/Passo," which the two companies released in April 2016. On the front side of the minivan, polypropylene (PP) is used for the front bumper and the front fender. On the rear side, plastic is used for (1) the outer panel and frame of the back door, (2) rear bumper corner, (3) fuel filler cap and (4) center rail cover.
While the outer panel of the back door, rear bumper corner and fuel filler cap are made of PP, PP reinforced by glass fibers (GFs) is used for the frame of the back door because a high strength is required for the frame, which is part of the body frame.
Unlike the new Boon/Passo, the new minivan uses a plastic center rail cover, which covers the rail of a sliding door. A composite material of PC (polycarbonate) and PET (polyethylene terephthalate) is used for the center rail cover because the material improves surface smoothness and prevents the surface from being scratched at the time of fueling, etc.
The use of plastic, etc realized a mass of 1,070kg for the lightest-weight model of the compact minivan. The mass of the Boon/Passo, which is a size smaller than the minivan, is 910-960kg.