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BMW-Toyota Pact: Hybrids, Fuel Cells, Carbon Fiber--And A Sports Car Too

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Toyota FCV-R hydrogen fuel-cell concept car, 2012 Detroit Auto Show

Toyota FCV-R hydrogen fuel-cell concept car, 2012 Detroit Auto Show

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On Thursday, we brought you news that BMW was planning to ditch its partnership with GM to develop fuel cell vehicles, for Japanese rival Toyota.

That news has now been confirmed, with a joint press conference on Friday heralding the start of BMW and Toyota's partnership.

The automakers' Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) includes plans for joint development of fuel cell technology, electric powertrains, light-weight technology and even the architecture of a future sports car.

The MoU follows on from an initial agreement in March to collaborate on lithium-ion battery research, and a previous agreement on fuel-efficient diesel engines, but now means the two companies will work hand-in-hand towards wider sustainable future mobility.

Neither company is a stranger to hydrogen technology, and the partnership could now see joint development of cars like Toyota's FCV-R fuel-cell concept.

The two companies will also work on full-electric vehicles, light-weight technology (possibly influenced by BMW's work with carbon fiber in cars like the i3 electric city car) and even a sports car project.

“Toyota is strong in environment-friendly hybrids and fuel cells. On the other hand, I believe BMW’s strength is in developing sports cars. I am excited to think of the cars that will result from this relationship,” explained Toyota CEO, Akio Toyoda.

That sports car is likely to be Toyota's rumored mid-engine, hybrid successor to the old Supra. BMW is also said to be considering an entry-level sports car, named Z2.

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  1. This should be a great partnership. Each side brings strength to the table.
     
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