The Toyota GT86 has found endless plaudits and few critics and it seems the partnership with compatriots Subaru has more than paid off, with most motoring publications giving it some inclusion in their Car of the Year segments at the end of 2012. This success looks to have given the Japanese manufacturer an impetus for similar future projects, as the automotive giant has now combined with BMW to create another new sports car.
In the interests of both parties, the two will first look to create a concept for the vehicle and then in the longer term, develop new technologies that will include hybrid and hydrogen implementations for future models.
A known secret in the motoring world is that Toyota are looking to place a new sports car in their range that will act as a successor to the old Celica and one that would sit nicely as a sort of ‘big sister’ to the GT86. BMW on the other hand will be looking to replace the Z4 by the time this new model is realised, with another facelift deemed unviable by dwindling sales.
Right now there are no concrete details on what the car will look like or what it will contain in terms of an engine or components, although part of the agreement will see the two firms work on new lightweight technology that will include “reinforced composites” and we can assume this will make it to the concept at least.
Hybrid and hydrogen technology will be researched and created in the long-term, with a fuel-cell project a key part of that. Toyota and BMW will look to engineer several components that will include a fuel-cell stack, hybrid system, hydrogen tank, an electric motor and a new type of battery. Speaking of the latter, the two are hoping to co-develop what will be called lithium-air battery technology that allows fuel-cells to be smaller but hold more energy, something that may change the way those that would apply here for a BP fuel card.
The hydrogen fuels technology will not be seen in production until 2020, however, as the two manufacturers look to set industry standards. Back to reality, BMW will soon supply diesel engines for Toyota’s cars in the European automotive market.
About the author: Samuel writes for Direct Fuels Business Fuel Cards who supply business fuel cards for fleets in the UK.