The auto industry cross-pollination continues, with BMW and Peugeot having signed a Memorandum of Understanding to expand their engineering collaboration to include a new hybrid system. Specifically, this will be a hybrid drive for front-wheel drive vehicles, marking a departure for both BMW and Peugeot.
BMW's interest isn't a complete surprise since the Bavarian firm has been making more and more noise about city cars and a small FWD offering for the U.S market. Although there have been practically no details on BMW's so-called UKL line, this could be the development that provides a hybrid option for the range. It's possible that Mini might get this as well, but with a gaggle of tiny hybrids coming, like the expected Yaris-sized hybrid joining the Prius line, it's not a stretch to imagine BMW won't want to spread this around.

The novel thing for Peugeot is also the turned wheels, but in a different way: their hybrid cars have used the motors to turn the rear wheels, while the fronts were pushed by the ICE. It remains to be seen where Peugeot will apply a dedicated FWD hybrid vehicle.

[Source: BMW]
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BMW Group and PSA expand cooperation to hybrid systems
Development of hybrid components for front-wheel-drive vehicles
Cooperation will leverage significant economies of scale

18.10.2010 - Munich, Paris. The BMW Group and PSA Peugeot Citroën intend to expand their successful cooperation by including hybrid components for front-wheel-drive vehicles.

A memorandum of understanding to this effect has been signed by Norbert Reithofer, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG, and Philippe Varin, Chairman of the Managing Board of PSA Peugeot Citroën.

The components are to be used in front-wheel-drive vehicles with electrified drive trains. Joint development and production of components as well as joint purchasing will leverage significant economies of scale for both partners. It will also allow them to standardise key elements for the electrification of vehicles.

"This cooperation will deliver a major contribution towards a competitive cost structure in the field of electrification. It also represents another important step on the road to sustainable mobility," said Reithofer.

"We are pleased to broaden our long-standing cooperation based on the strong relationship that exists between our two companies," added Philippe Varin. "Combining both partners' expertise in hybrid technologies will clearly create competitive advantage."

Both parties have agreed not to disclose financial details of the agreement.

The BMW Group and PSA Peugeot Citroën have been successfully cooperating on engines for several years. In February 2010, the two companies agreed to develop the next generation of their jointly designed 4-cylinder petrol engine, which will also meet EU 6 requirements. The joint engine is currently built into a number of MINI, Peugeot and Citroën brand models.

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