Toyota Motor Corp. president Akio Toyoda met with BMW Group Chairman Norbert Reithofer in Munich Friday to publicize plans of expanding the cooperative relationship they started last December. The two automakers said they signed a “memorandum of understanding” with the aim of forging a strategic collaboration for the long-term in four key areas: fuel cell system development, development of architecture and components for a future sports vehicle, power train electrification, and research and development of lightweight technologies. They did not reveal any details of their plans to work together on the “future sports vehicle,” but it will be interesting to see what comes of the partnership.
Toyoda is known for his passion for racing, and is even a certified test driver at Germany’s famous Nurburgring motor sport complex. He has professed his desire for Toyota to build an authentic sports car at an affordable price. Under his guidance, Toyota has already collaborated with Subaru working on the Toyota GT 86, the Scion FR-S, and the Subaru BRZ rear-wheel drive sports car.
BMW will benefit from Toyota’s hybrid and fuel-cell technology, and Toyota hopes to make use of BMW’s performance expertise to develop a high performance sports car. Like most other automakers these days, Toyota wants to build a performance racing division, and use that technology to amp up their production vehicles. It will be interesting to see how this partnership affects Toyota and BMW’s lineups moving forward.
[Via Torque News]