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BMW, Toyota to build midsize sports car, next-gen lithium batteries

The joint contract will combine BMW's sports car know-how with Toyota's EV expertise.

By Clifford Atiyeh Jan 24, 2013 7:32AM
BMW and Toyota have finalized a joint agreement to build a sports car and collaborate on alternative fuels, including hydrogen, in an unlikely pairing that will see the two automakers share their technology until at least 2020.

A new concept for a midsize sports car will be developed by the end of 2013, similar to how Toyota developed the compact Scion FR-S with Subaru. Toyota President Akio Toyoda, at left, and BMW Chairman Norbert Reithofer signed the contract at Toyota's offices in Nagoya, Japan.

The two automakers said they would build a hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle by 2020, including a new fuel-cell stack, hydrogen tank, motor and battery. Toyota has already announced it would sell a hydrogen-powered car by 2015 and continues to run an experimental fleet of hydrogen-powered Highlander vehicles in the U.S. BMW had experimented with liquid-hydrogen-powered 7-Series models to demonstrate the fuel's use with conventional engines.

A new "lithium-air" battery chemistry will also be developed, which BMW said would pack more energy than today's lithium-ion batteries.

Finally, Toyota and BMW will share lightweight technologies, such as carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic, that both companies have already pledged to use in current and upcoming models. Toyota, which showed a concept car built with a carbon-fiber plastic composite body in 2007, applied a similar concept with the Lexus LFA supercar and even invented a special looming machine to weave its own threads. BMW will use carbon-fiber composites on the i3 electric car, which will go into production this year at an expected rate of 30,000 per year. Ford said it would be adding carbon fiber to mainstream production models by 2020.

BMW and Toyota signed a memorandum in June, months after the first details of their partnership were announced in December 2011. No other details are available, but we hope that midsize sports car will become a new Supra, which was discontinued in the U.S. in 1998. Expect more news to trickle out in the coming months.

[Source: BMW]

Jan 24, 2013 8:39AM
I can't think of a better combination for this. When you take the king of reliability and the king of driving  enjoyment and put them together, they should build great cars!
Jan 25, 2013 6:00AM
We all know (at least those of us that aren't blind and deaf) that Toyota is the king of reliability. They get the awards for it year after year after year.
 As usual, Mac is grasping at straws. No other manufacturer has more vehicles on the IIHS's top safety pic list than Toyota. I don't think you get that for being unsafe. Oh, that's right, the IIHS is excepting bribes from Toyota and Mac and Arizona know more about vehicle safety than them!
Jan 25, 2013 12:47PM


frosty ....does it A:  give you a warm fuzzy feeling constantly making up excuses for Toyota`s overall poor performance or B:   become incredibly frustrating for you and your friends to day after day after day, see Toyota trumping one massive recall, failure and fines with another


Not even BMW can infuse performance into Toyota

Jan 24, 2013 11:51AM
God knows that Toyota can use all the BMW they can get!
Jan 25, 2013 8:21AM
Good to get thinking about alternative energy-sourced rigs like this, so I applaud. Would be nice to see what this pup is going to look like.
Jan 25, 2013 7:54AM
I'll bet MacFatty works for Government Motors.  The market place rules, always has always will.  Build the best and they will buy.
Jan 25, 2013 5:40AM

"I can't think of a better combination for this. When you take the king of reliability and the king of driving  enjoyment and put them together, they should build great cars!"




I agree with you 100%.  But my question is this:  If BMW is the king of reliability and the king of driving enjoyment, then what is Toyota's role in all of this?

Jan 24, 2013 8:51PM

King of reliability frosty

The U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)  announced that Toyota Motor Corporation has AGREED to pay $17.35 million, the maximum fine allowable under the law, in response to the automaker failing to report  SAFETY defects to the federal government in a timely manner. This action represents the single highest civil penalty amount ever paid to NHTSA for violations stemming from recalls, not including the 3.1 MILLION in other fines Toyota is going to pay in fines. I thought you where going to AA meetings frosty, clearly you have started drinking again.

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