BMW has confirmed the German automaker will join forces with Toyota to create new green technologies. The two companies have signed a memorandum of understanding for mid-to-long-term collaboration on next-generation lithium-ion battery technology, with the option to expand the partnership into additional areas. BMW has also announced the company will supply Toyota with 1.6-liter and 2.0-liter diesel engines beginning in 2014. That doesn't mean we'll be seeing a clean-diesel Prius in the U.S. anytime soon, however. BMW stresses that the engines will be used exclusively in Toyota products destined for the European market.

What other sorts of tech could be spread between the two automakers? BMW may have an eye on gleaning some hybrid knowledge from the fiercely successful Prius program, and we wouldn't be surprised if BMW slipped its new partner a few hints on carbon-fiber construction, either. Either way, the partnership will likely save both automakers plenty of research and development dollars, helping to bring new tech to customers with a slimmer price tag than would otherwise be possible. Hit the jump for the press release.
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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 - December 1, 2011... 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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