The Japanese Giant Toyota, and the Bavarian Beast known as BMW, could not be more different car companies. Toyota vehicles have the perception of stoic, no-frills, affordable reliability. BMW’s are brash, expensive, “look at me” cars driven mostly by those with an inflated sense of self-worth. In other words, this is the perfect alliance for both companies, who in an extension of a technology alliance announced in December, are teaming up on sports car and electric vehicle technology.
Toyota has been teaming up with companies from every continent, including a recently announced alliance with Ford to produce a hybrid pickup truck. BMW has been going it alone for the most part, though its recent efforts with electric vehicles under the “i” sub-brand seem to have faltered. Recent reports suggest that BMW is scaling back, if not completely sinking, the all-electric i-brand.
But an alliance between Toyota and BMW could save the all-electric Bimmer sports car, as well as inject some excitement into the Toyota lineup. The Scion FR-S is a new sports car jointly developed by Toyota and Subaru, and BMW might be able to share some of its own performance philosophy with the Japanese automaker. If Toyota and BMW collaborate on a diesel-electric hybrid vehicle along the lines of a 3-series sedan with decent performance in a sexy package, other automakers might be in a bit of trouble.
What kind of Toyota/BMW combo vehicle would you like to see?