BMW and Toyota to announce technology share deal?
BMW will combine with Japanese automotive giant Toyota in a deal that will see the premium German brand exchange it's new class-leading 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged diesel engine in return for hybrid technology.
As yet both manufacturers have declined to comment on news reports surrounding the alleged deal but are said to be in talks with each other, with a possible announcement to be made at the Tokyo Motor Show this week.
The deal would certainly benefit Toyota with the Japanese firm receiving the new engines, reaping the reward of BMW's hard spent Euros in developing the new motor.
In some ways it would be a 'double whammy' for Toyota as the dependence on BMW's super smooth diesel lump would mean a massive reduction in spends on the firm's Japanese and Polish plants, as Toyota engines would only then be needed for smaller models.
It won't be all take from Toyota, however.
BMW will gain Toyota's hybrid know-how and well developed technology, most likely to be used on the 3 Series and 5 Series Active Hybrid models in the pipeline.
More importantly though, if terms of the deal allow, the hybrid powertrain trickery pioneered by Toyota could be transferred to other BMW products such as the Mini range.
It's also thought that the deal won't affect the setup already in place between the Bavarian business and PSA/Peugeot/Citroen, so a Prius-type lump could be on the cards for the Mini, DS3 and 208 when the new Peugeot emerges next year.
So a potential coup for both manufacturers, then. Toyota will net the gutsy but refined 181bhp, 280lb ft diesel motor that, unfortunately, will punch well above the weight of its chassis', and bee-em will scoop some ready-made hybrid technology.
The BMW Active Hybrid 3 Series is thought to hit the UK as early as July and will boast 335bhp while returning a combined 46mpg with emissions of just 149g/km CO2; basically, performance of the 335i with the economy of a 328i.