Frank Weber with the Chevrolet Volt

Spiegel Online set the rumormill ablaze with an unconfirmed report that General Motors is seeking some sort of cooperative deal with German automaker BMW. Speigel says The General's interest in BMW is primarily related to the German firm's gasoline and diesel engine technology.

Beyond that, Spiegel reports that Stephen Girsky, GM's board member in charge of strategy, has started discussions with BMW on "far-reaching joint projects." For his part, BMW chairman Dr. Norbert Reithofer previously went on record saying the German automaker was open to the idea of selling engines to other companies so long as such a move – like the recent agreement BMW made with Fisker Automotive – wouldn't strengthen a direct competitor's position or damage BMW's reputation.

In exchange, Spiegel reports that BMW is intrigued by the technology behind the Opel Ampera. This should come as no surprise considering that former Opel exec Frank Weber (pictured) now heads research and development at BMW. Weber is known as the leader of the team that transformed the Chevrolet Volt from a wild-eyed concept to a production vehicle.

Dow Jones says neither General Motors nor BMW were immediately available for comment on this alleged deal.