BMW and Toyota buddy up

'Promiscuous' is probably not a word you'd expect to use in association with Toyota but the Japanese firm has been putting itself about a bit lately in its bid to take over the sports car middle ground.

Collaboration with Subaru on the GT86 was, depending who you listen to, subcontracting construction of its own sports car to an ailing compatriot or a leg-up for a long-running coupe project Subaru was unable to realise on its own. Whatever the truth it's clear who the daddy is in that particular scenario.

Akio Toyoda and Norbert Reithofer shake on it
Akio Toyoda and Norbert Reithofer shake on it
So who's in the driving seat of this newly announced partnership with BMW on fuel cell tech, a 'sports vehicle', lightweight construction techniques and 'post-lithium battery technology'? Difficult to say, both sides of the deal having expertise and able to claim a lead in one field or another.

Certainly Toyota has the lead in mass-market hybrid sales, BMW the sporting heritage. And with the i sub-brand it's been doing a lot of work on productionising carbon fibre construction for mainstream cars. Combine at least two of these four areas of expertise and there may be something PHers can take an interest in here. What could that be? A new Celica? A rear-driven affordable BMW sports car spun off the GT86 platform? Share your speculation here - for the record here's the stuff we're interested in direct from the press release:

  1. Sports vehicle
    The companies agreed to set-up a feasibility study to define a joint platform concept for a mid-size sports vehicle that is to be completed by the end of 2013. The two companies aim to combine each other's technology and knowledge at a high level to maximise customer satisfaction. Both companies are to share the vision to further collaborate in the field of sports vehicle development.
  2. Lightweight technology
    The companies are to jointly develop lightweight technologies for vehicle bodies using cutting-edge materials such as reinforced composites, with an eye to utilize these technologies in cooperation on the joint development of a sports-vehicle platform as well as other BMW and TMC vehicles.


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Comments (48) Join the discussion on the forum

  • Gizmoish 29 Jan 2013

    Jayinjapan said:
    A huge car for schoolgirls nurses er...?

  • Andy ap 29 Jan 2013

    Gt 86 front, Z4 rear quarters, looks interesting.

  • ScoobieWRX 26 Jan 2013

    Jayinjapan said:
    ScoobieWRX said:
    The XV has not had the greatest motoring journo plaudits nor has it faired that brilliantly against the opposition. I'm talking about creating a full on modern 4x4 SUV that is up in the RR/LC/LR/G-W etc.. type of 4x4. Not Gaylander type/size and more capable off-road than your usual X-5, Q7, XC etc... smile
    The Gaylander comment made me lol on the train on the way to work this morning, got some very funny looks...biggrin

    I agree a full size SUV would be nice. Not sure it'll happen though. Recently all the Subaru ads on TV have been extolling safety / ecological / economy features rather than their handling / power / offroad prowess as they used to do, sign of the times perhaps? It's a shame, cos I have a soft spot for the company.

    Toyota on the other hand have been actively trying to push their image back towards 'fun' with their recent campaigns...
    I think in the same way they've collaborated with the GT86/BRZ coupe, which it's fair to say has been a proper success story, i reckon they could do the same with a proper 4x4 that could still be fun, safe, green, economical etc... Subaru engineering with Toyota style/chassis would be awesome and i reckon they'd sell by the bucket load.

    There's no reason, if they haven't already, why Subaru couldn't design/manufacture an economical and torquey 2.5-3.0ltr TurboDiesel motor that meets latest emissions, coupled with their fabulous tried and tested Asymmetrical AWD system.

    With LSD's both ends, decent suspension and sufficient ground clearance it would be highly capable on and off-road. This is something i would trade my trusty old 3rd gen Surf for.

  • Kawasicki 26 Jan 2013

    dukebox9reg said:
    Kawasicki said:
    Anything would be better than a fwd BMW sports car.
    Mini Coupe does alright. And what's wrong with bringing out FWD models while they still are producing RWD across the range? Just don't buy the FWD models and stick with 1 series, 3 series, 4 series, 5 series, 6 series, 7 series, Z4. It's not like you haven't got choice.

    Good on them for expanding their range. A lot of people are put off by buying RWD and BMW because of bad weather etc. It opens them up to a lot more buyers.

    It would be interesting the take on a new Supra, but I think it would be more towards a re-hash of the Celica. Look at the direction of the new NSX, Skyline(GTR). The Supra's 90's rivals. They are all now supercars. I think it wouldn't be a fit for the Supra name(obviously i'm ignoring the RX7's replacement, the RX-8 was a step back really)

    At least if they start with the Celica name (or another) at least it gives them room to bring out a hotter model with the Supra name.

    It should increase Toyota's flagging sales, its got a BMW diesel engine, don't you know. I heard that many a time when people talk about their MG ZT dervs.
    Mini Coupe does alright, if you don't mind a seriously flawed layout. Power on understeer, anyone? I don't wish to start an anti/pro fwd debate, but I do think that fwd is inferior to rwd (as did BMW), in terms of driving enjoyment, and I'm not referring to huge powerslides everywhere, as fun as that it, the real enjoyment potential can be enjoyed without upsetting the law.

  • Studio117 26 Jan 2013

    dukebox9reg said:
    It should increase Toyota's flagging sales, its got a BMW diesel engine, don't you know. I heard that many a time when people talk about their MG ZT dervs.
    Official figures for the year show sales of passenger cars and light commercial vehicles for the brand at 92,318, a 12.6 per cent increase over 2011.

    84,000 in 2012.

    Thats a big drop.

    Edited by Studio117 on Saturday 26th January 04:11

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