We’ve always been pretty convinced that fitting BMW diesel engines under the hood of Toyota Europe’s cars and some battery-cell research wouldn’t be all that would come out of the collaboration between the Japanese and German automakers announced at last year’s Tokyo auto show. It seems now that the Japanese juggernaut and Bavaria’s pride will grow closer than ever.
We understand that BMW will make its weight-saving carbon-fiber technology available to Toyota, while the Japanese will give BMW access to its hybrid and hydrogen fuel-cell technology. BMW is considered a leader in carbon-fiber technology, and it plans to bring that tech to larger-scale series production with the eco-friendly models marketed under the “i” brand. Economies of scale are a big issue with carbon-fiber technology, and a partner like Toyota is a strong asset in reducing cost. Toyota has not distinguished itself remarkably well with low-weight series-production cars in the past.
But the Japanese brand is a leader in hybrid technology and has spent vast sums on developing the hydrogen fuel-cell. BMW has a need in both areas: Its hybrid R&D cooperation with French automaker PSA Peugeot Citroën is in tatters after GM bought seven percent of PSA’s shares, and instead of focusing on hydrogen fuel cells, BMW has spent decades developing the hydrogen internal combustion engine—a project that was put on hold indefinitely a few years ago—as seen in the Hydrogen 7.
BMW and Toyota Tie-Up to Extend to Exchange of Carbon-Fiber and Hybrid Tech