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BMW and Toyota buddy up

Collaboration announced twixt BMW and Toyota on fuel cells and new sports car projects

By Dan Trent / Thursday, January 24, 2013

'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:

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.

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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