Toyota and BMW plans to co-develop a mid-size sports car platform

Tuesday 29 January 2013, 01:31 AM by

The German auto maker, BMW has expressed intentions to co-develop a sports car with the Japanese car maker, Toyota. Reportedly, both the auto makers have agreed on a long term agreement, in order to design a new fuel-cell system, lightweight material technology and architecture of a sports car. The agreement leans to a memorandum of understanding, which had been signed by the senior officials of Toyota and BMW, somewhere in June 2012.

Both the auto makers have also expressed concerns on a new deal to invest on the Research and Development (R&D) of new lithium-air batteries, which seems to be a successor of the ongoing lithium-ion power cells. Reportedly, an electric vehicle powered by lithium-air battery of the same proposition as ongoing lithium-ion one could feature a greater range of up to five-times. On this, both the auto companies were quoted as together saying, “They are convinced that fuel cell technology is one of the solutions necessary to achieve zero emissions.”

The companies have jointly agreed to design a new fuel-cell stack, a hydrogen tank, motor and battery. Reportedly, this technology-quipped car is expected to mark presence on roads by the end of 2020. Industry experts also believe that considering the niche of BMW and Toyota in the international market, the move to standardise the fuel-cell infrastructure would create dominance as the auto industry is bound to use this technology in near future.

According to the second agreement, both the companies will employ efforts on the designing of lithium batteries. Toyota and BMW will together research on lithium-air battery, which is expected to have an “energy density greatly exceeding that of current lithium-ion batteries.”

Both the auto makers are planning to develop a new designing platform for mid-size sports cars. The initiative is anticipated to be completed by the end of 2013. Industry experts are expecting Toyota to introduce a car, which will be placed above the GT 86, or a model from its completely owned subsidiary, Lexus.

Reportedly, if everything goes according to the proposed plan, the car will be designed before the launch of third generation BMW Z4, which is scheduled to sparkle internationally somewhere in 2015. According to sources, the new sports car is expected to feature the features and technology of both – BMW and Toyota.

For its Project i models, the German auto marque has already gained success with the Carbon Fibre Reinforced Composites (CFRP). According to sources, both the auto companies have agreed that this technology could be incorporated in the manufacturing platform of their new sports car.

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