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BMW Reaches Out To Toyota

BMW Reaches Out To Toyota

Next month BMW will introduce new models to its refreshed 3 Series range of cars to help the company keep pace with competitors. There’ll be an xDrive version – that’s 4×4 to you and me – available on only one engine option. Perhaps more significantly the company will offer a hybrid version.

It is called the ActiveHybrid 3 and it will be powered by a three litre six cylinder turbo-charged engine coupled with a 40kW electric motor. The combination will generate a satisfying 340bhp and a chunky 450Nm of torque, so no slouch then. Apparently the car will travel less than three miles on electric power alone but it is not meant to be an extended range electric car. With a stated consumption figure of 47.9mpg (so probably 40 in the real world) and a decent emission figure of 139g/km the car is sure to attract business users for its 18% company car tax rate.

In line with the trend for manufacturers to co-operate with each other to save money on research and development, BMW have reached their hands across the sea to Toyota in a bid to work together on hybrid and electric technology. In recent years the Germans have preferred to collaborate with their neighbours at Peugeot Citroen. Lately though, the cash-strapped French have been batting their eyes at General Motors who they see as a better partner. An alliance between the Germans and the Japanese now looks more mutually beneficial.

As a matter of some urgency, BMW really need to reduce the overall emissions target for the company to 101g/km by 2020, which means adding some health-giving hybrids and EV’s to the range in the next few years. Toyota will offer lithium-ion battery research in exchange for some of BMW’s brilliant diesel engines to bolster their slightly weak image in Europe. In the next few years we can expect to see Beemers running with Toyota hybrid power trains. The Japanese manufacturer would also expect to get in on the ground floor with the cutting edge lightweight materials to be used in future on a large scale on BMW’s forthcoming Megacity electric car, presently code-named the i3.

The xDrive 3 Series is BMW’s answer to Audi’s four wheel drive A4 and their over-arching plan seems to be to ensure that their range of cars, big and small, are a match for the best from other factories and especially top-end brands like Lexus and Infiniti. BMW are already extremely well regarded by drivers and are clearly keen to ensure their place at the top of the league tables.

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bG9nZ2VyX0xvZ28uanBnIjtpOjI7czo3MzoiaHR0cDovL21vdG9yYmxvZ2dlci5jby51ay93cC1jb250ZW50L3dvb191cGxvYWRzLzMtTW90b3JfQmxvZ2dlcl9Mb2dvLnBuZyI7fTwvbGk+PGxpPjxzdHJvbmc+d29vX3ZpZGVvX2NhdGVnb3J5PC9zdHJvbmc+IC0gQXV0byBOZXdzPC9saT48L3VsPg==