BMW & Toyota Partnering to Build an Answer to a Dream?

Jun 29 • Opinion8 Comments

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It ‘s official – BMW and Toyota are partnering. At this point the terms are rather loose but buried in them is the mention of the two companies are collaborating on what they ‘re calling a “sports car “.

The term is used loosely these days but 20-30 years ago it was what one called a basic car that ‘s core purpose was driver enjoyment. Exactly the kind of thing Toyota and BMW have a rich history of making. But lately both companies have been focusing on mass markets and efficiency. Not bad things but not core attributes that make great sports cars.

And now we have this. A hypothetical sports car. And for his part, Mr. Toyoda sounded genuinely interested in creating something exciting in his speech this morning with BMW executives at his side:

“We are not coming together to become bigger. We are not coming together to form capital ties. We are joining hands because we want to make ever-better cars. ” “The Nürburgring is the toughest course there is. At the Nürburgring, the road tosses the car around. Curves seem to try to throw out the car and driver. Roads make cars. The Nürburgring has taught me so. That is why many carmakers test new cars at the Nürburgring. They develop cars there, while competing against other manufacturers. But at the Nürburgring, there is always a car that passes me. It is a BMW. “

Will it actually happen? And if so what will it look like? What price point will it hit? When will it come to market. We know none of this. We only know enough to be genuinely excited.

Hat tip to Jalopnik on the quote.

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  • Adam

    Ok I guess it is official, Although I am not too sure why it took a partnership to achieve this, Toyota was able to do the Supra and MR2 without BMW in 90′s…. I guess we need to see how this developes.

    • BimmerFile_Michael

      They are just throwing out ideas on what they could partner to create at this time… nothing is official. The only thing they have a contract on is hybrid drives and diesels, they are exploring other options and if they had written these other avenues into the original MOU this would never needed to be redone hence the broad scope and variation this time around.

      What we will see happening is BMW and Toyota swapping Carbon fiber/ light weight tech (BMW) for Toyota’s fuel cells which are vetted more. Then what may come out of that is “a green sports car” with a shared chassis to lower costs. BMW is also trying to reach economies of scale with its BMWi models- so maybe the i8 gets repackaged as a Toyota/Lexus after the LFA exits. If you look at the cost of the LFA carbon fiber it is obvious Toyota needs to have a partner and some economies of scale.

      What people do not realize is that BMW has a very advanced Fuel Cell in the works and they own the patent for a hybrid fuel cell- so any company that wants to use a hybrid with a fuel cell needs to pay BMW royalties for a long while- Toyota included unless they develop a swap. Fuel cell for city- ICE for everything else (better than battery!).

      BMW unlike everyone else is NOT using precious metals/ rare earth minerals in its fuel cells…. I wish I could post more on this but my hands are a bit tied for certain reasons.

      • Adam

        Thank you for elaborating a bit Michael.

  • les

    If you listen closely, you will hear the sound of James May crying all the way from London.

  • http://www.about.me/sohrabosati Sohrab O.

    Yea, I’m not sure I understand the partnership either. As Adam stated, Toyota made sports cars a long time ago and they were fine though they’ve been out of that for over 15 years. BMW is more than capable with cars like the M1, Z8 though I wouldn’t call the current Z or M lines “sports cars.” But I don’t think either company stopped making the sports cars because they couldn’t but instead did it because they wanted to focus on their main fleet which sells, versus the low return from sports cars (though they do capture the public imagination)

  • BimmerFile_Michael

    Nothing is official except they are exploring ideas. A “Memorandum of Understanding” basically means that the companies are talking about certain things and those certain things are proprietary, thus not to used by the company in discussion for their own interests without a final agreement.

    This time around the two listed everything they COULD collaborate on so they need not do this again between one another (they had a loose MOU before and finalized hybrid/diesel).

    BMW also had an MOU with GM for fuel cells- that went nowhere. Anyone saying that this MOA will yield anything is purely speculating at this point. The “sports car” in this scenario will more than likely be based within BMWi- as BMW’s Ceo discussed a “green sports car” in some non official statements.

    There still is that issue of BMW Peugeot Citroen Electrification that needs to be cleared up before anything can move forward…..

  • Tristan

    BM-yota?

  • Dylan Bland

    The picture of an AW11 MR2 has me excited. That car was awesome. I’ve owned two. Apparently a lot of Lotus engineering from a failed JV formed part of the car. Whoever signed off on the AW11 MR2 knew a thing or two about creating a unique, drivers car for the mass market. Looking forward to learning more about this new project!

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