What kind of doors open when you're Toyota and you sell over three million hybrids? Apparently a partnership with BMW on "next-generation" lithium-ion packs and all sorts of future green debauchery. Whether the collaboration will bear fruit in time for München's upcoming lithium-ion powered i3 and i8 remains to be seen, but the tie-up should save the duo mucho dinero as they pool development time and cut costs with economies of scale. The memorandum will also grant Toyota's European outfit with access to BMW's 1.6 and 2.0 liter diesel engines come 2014. Does that mean we're a little over three years from the bimmer powered oil burning Prius of our dreams? Guess we'll have to find out, but we can't imagine things are exactly peachy over in France right about now.
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BMW Group and Toyota Agree to Mid-to-long-term Research Collaboration in Environment-friendly Technologies

BMW Group to Supply 1.6L and 2.0L BMW Fuel Efficient Diesel Engines to Toyota Motor

Tokio/München. BMW Group and Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) announce that they today signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) concerning a mid-to-long-term collaboration on next-generation environment-friendly technologies.

Under the MOU, the two companies agreed on a collaborative research in the field of next-generation lithium-ion battery technologies. Furthermore, they have agreed to identify and discuss other possible collaborative projects.

In addition, Toyota Motor Europe (TME), TMC's European subsidiary, and BMW Group have entered into a contract under which BMW Group is to supply 1.6 liter and 2.0 liter diesel engines to TME starting in 2014. The engines will be installed in certain Toyota-produced vehicles planned for sale in the European market. Through this agreement, Toyota plans to expand its European lineup and sales of fuel-efficient, low CO2-emission diesel-powered vehicles.

Marking the announcement, Norbert Reithofer, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG, said: "Toyota is the leading provider of environment-friendly series technology in the volume segment and the BMW Group is the most innovative and sustainable manufacturer of premium automobiles. We are now joining forces to further develop environment-friendly technologies and to expand our innovation leadership in each of our segments. Supplying Toyota with our fuel efficient and dynamic diesel engines represents another important step in the planned expansion of our sales activities for engines and powertrain systems."

Representing TMC, President Akio Toyoda said: "It is a great joy and a thrill to enter into this mid-to-long-term collaborative relationship with BMW, a company with its own culture and history from its many years of car manufacturing in Europe, and a company that makes cars that are fun to drive. In the spirit of contributing to furthering the development of the auto industry and society, both companies will bring their wide-ranging knowledge - starting with that concerning environmental technologies - to the table and make ever-better cars."

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