Filed under: Performance , BMW , Toyota Earlier this year, BMW and Toyota confirmed a four-part joint venture mostly focusing on increasing improving vehicle efficiency using fuel cells, lightweight materials and better battery technology. Also tucked into the announcement was a “feasibility study” for a shared platform to underpin a future midsize “sports vehicle.” In terms of the latter, it seems that things have stepped up from the feasibility stage to the conceptual stage, as Motor Trend reports we could see a pair of new sports car concepts debut later this year in at the Tokyo Motor Show . There isn’t much information about the new program, but the article suggests the sports cars could be all-wheel drive hybrids, with electric motors powering the front wheels and a gas engine powering the rear wheels. While a partnership between Toyota and BMW might not lend itself to a catchy portmanteau like ” Toyobaru ,” here’s hoping it will bear fruit that is as exciting as the ones produced by the Toyota/ Subaru tie up. BMW-Toyota sports car heading towards Tokyo debut originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 20 May 2013 18:44:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
Filed under: Hybrid , Technology , BMW , Toyota , Electric Back in June , Toyota and BMW announced a “memorandum of understanding” outlining plans for the two companies to join forces on future products and technology development. On Thursday, they signed a more formal and binding agreement that goes further into detail about the partnership, and it all sounds pretty exciting. The two announced they will work together in four main areas: Joint development of a fuel cell system “Set up a feasibility study to define a joint platform concept for a mid-size sports vehicle” Focus on lightweight technology – the agreement mentions reinforced composites that could be used in the aforementioned sports vehicle Better batteries – the companies will work to develop a lithium-air battery with a much greater energy density than today’s cells. The most intriguing item is the mention of a “mid-size sports vehicle.” The vague term had us wondering what, exactly, is meant by “sports vehicle,” but we’re being assured this feasibility study is centered on a sports car. Is this the first step toward a Supra revival? Despite our fervor for all things sports car, however, fuel cell research could prove to be the pact’s most important point. Both companies have built advanced fuel research vehicles, with Toyota favoring fuel cells and BMW leaning toward hydrogen-powered , internal combustion. The press release specifically lists fuel cell stacks, hydrogen tanks, motors and batteries as areas of interest. If the two can eventually bring a fuel-cell vehicle to market at an affordable price point, it would be huge news, although there’s always the problem of infrastructure to support such cars. BMW and Toyota’s new deal can’t solve everything though, right?