Filed under: Etc. , Europe , Japan , Plants/Manufacturing , BMW , Toyota BMW has confirmed the German automaker will join forces with Toyota to create new green technologies . The two companies have signed a memorandum of understanding for mid-to-long-term collaboration on next-generation lithium-ion battery technology, with the option to expand the partnership into additional areas. BMW has also announced the company will supply Toyota with 1.6-liter and 2.0-liter diesel engines beginning in 2014. That doesn’t mean we’ll be seeing a clean-diesel Prius in the U.S. anytime soon, however. BMW stresses that the engines will be used exclusively in Toyota products destined for the European market. What other sorts of tech could be spread between the two automakers? BMW may have an eye on gleaning some hybrid knowledge from the fiercely successful Prius program, and we wouldn’t be surprised if BMW slipped its new partner a few hints on carbon-fiber construction, either. Either way, the partnership will likely save both automakers plenty of research and development dollars, helping to bring new tech to customers with a slimmer price tag than would otherwise be possible.
Filed under: Hybrid , Technology , Hatchback , Toyota , First Drives You Say You Want An Evolution? Here’s a game that the first people who buy the 2012 Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid should play with their other Prius-driving friends: Let them slide behind the wheel and see if they can even tell that it isn’t a standard, third-generation Prius . Very few will be able to tell. That’s how subtle the changes are between the two vehicles, at least, to someone who isn’t looking too closely. After driving the corded Prius in California recently, we can confidently say that from both the outside and behind the wheel, the Prius Plug-in Hybrid looks, drives and feels pretty much like any other example of the world’s most popular hybrid. Of course, this Prius does receive some important advances – ones that hardcore fans will notice them right away – but it’s more than obvious that Toyota’s strategy with its new model is evolution, not revolution. The changes start with the plug-in’s new lithium-ion battery pack. Much smaller than the packs used in the two most popular plug-in vehicles on the market, the Prius Plug-in’s 176-pound, 4.4-kWh battery pack offers just enough juice, Toyota says, for an “electric-only driving range of up to 15 miles at a maximum speed of 62 mile-per-hour” (More on how this isn’t exactly true after the jump). Continue reading 2012 Toyota Prius Plug-In 2012 Toyota Prius Plug-In originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 28 Sep 2011 11:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds .