BMW chairman Norbert Reithofer and Toyota president Akio Toyoda took to the stage today in the German automaker’s hometown to announce a strategic partnership between the two car companies, with plans to jointly develop fuel cell technology, electric vehicle architectures and an all-new sports car.
To the casual observer, this may come across as one of the most unlikely automotive tie-ups in years, but scratch beneath the surface and the BMW/Toyota alliance makes more sense than you’d think.
This past March, the initial seed was planted, with BMW agreeing to supply 1.6- and 2.0-liter diesel engines for Toyota’s European offerings, along with the two automakers collaborating on the development of next-generation lithium-ion battery cells.
Today, that alliance has been taken two steps further, with BMW and Toyota agreeing to work on a fuel cell system – something both automakers have toyed with in the past with varying levels of success – and the continued expansion of both automakers’ lightweight technology initiatives.
Toyota and BMW have announced that the two companies will collaborate in fuel cell technology, powertrain electrification and lightweight technologies to create a new sports car.
An agreement between BMW and Toyota was signed at the BMW headquarters in Munich by BMW CEO Norbert Reithofer and Toyota President Akio Toyoda. The agreement, aimed at expanding on long-term strategic collaboration, is an expansion on the original alliance established last year in December between the two auto makers.
Commenting on the agreement Reithofer said that, “Toyota and the BMW Group share the same strategic vision of sustainable individual future mobility. Together we have a great opportunity to continue leading our industry through this transformation.”
Toyoda also said that “Toyota is strong in environment-friendly hybrids and fuel cells. On the other hand, I believe BMW’s strength is in developing sports cars. I am excited to think of the cars that will result from this relationship.”
The official press release stated that:
Honda announced today that the all-new 2013 Honda Fit EV will be available to lease starting July 20, 2012 wit ha 3-year lease price set at $ 389 a month. The EPA rated 118 MPGe Fit electric lease price is based on a MSRP of $ 36,625.
In a creative marketing strategy, Honda will be offering leasers collision insurance without any deductible, nice way to entice customers and close the cost gap between electric and gasoline vehicle.
“No other automaker on the planet is more deeply committed to produce and deliver more energy-efficient and sustainable transportation solutions than Honda,” said Steven Center, vice president of the American Honda Environmental Business Development Office. “The 2013 Honda Fit EV is the latest example of this commitment.”
The Honda Fit EV is powered by a 20 kWh lithium-ion battery and a 92 kilowatt coaxial electric motor. That helps it pump out 123-hp and 189 lb-ft of torque. The estimated driving range comes in at 82 miles.
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Just 12 months after the launch of the MP4-12C road car, McLaren Automotive has officially announced it’s new open-top high-performance sports car, the McLaren 12C Spider.
Based on the same ultra-stiff carbon-fibre MonoCell chassis as the MP4-12C, the 12C Spider will be powered by a twin-turbo V8 engine producing 470kW.
McLaren Automotive hasn’t yet released a peak torque figure for the 12C Spider, but given that power is up 18kW over its MP4-12C hardtop sibling, you could speculate and say torque might also be increased on the new car.
McLaren Automotive are also keen to point out that the 12C Spider will be a high-performance car without compromise, but with inherent useability.
The video clip below features current McLaren F1 driver, Jensen Button, talking about what it feels like to drive an open-top high-performance car, which judging by the image above – is the McLaren 12C Spider.
It didn’t take long for JE Design to come up with a tuning package for the new SEAT Ibiza facelift after the Spanish car maker announced it. Save the color on this particular car, they’ve done a pretty good job making the Ibiza look even sportier. The visual upgrade will soon be complemented with substantial power increase for all the engines int he range.
For now though you have to settle for the body kit, a set of 17 or 18-inch wheels, and sport suspension with shorter springs that lower the car by 35mm. The nicely designed body kit includes a hefty spoiler lip at front, tall side skirts, a roof spoiler and a big rear diffuser. All the components are made from plastic, but that diffuser has a nice carbon look to look more appealing. It’s a simple and effective way of improving your car’s looks. But for heaven’s sake choose a dignified color!
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I have the privilege of going to BMW’s North American Headquarters a few times a year for either training or meetings of varying capacity. Depending on which part of the vast campus I’m heading to, I am sometimes greeted by BMW Aliens.
The BMW Technical Training building is a particularly strange place to visit because there are various cars ranging from MINIs to Rolls Royce in various stages of undress, usually with technicians and a BMW technical trainer gathered around in tight formation probing and inspecting. BMW uses these cars to teach technicians how to work on them, so at any point I could peak into a room and see a brand new M5 with its engine and transmission apart. It’s a very hands on operation at BMW.
But the part that I love the most about going back is the very large mural on the wall of the hallway from the welcome desk to the actual technical center. The mural is maybe 15 feet long and about 10 feet high with the former BMW Sauber Formula 1 team mechanics dressed in full garb including helmets staring at you as if they’ve descended down from another planet and are about to probe you.
So the last time I stopped in I managed to take this Super Bild to share with our BMWBLOG.com readers. Maybe one day I’ll take my photo equipment and take a proper wallpaper quality image, but for now I have this one to offer.
From everyone at BMWBLOG.com we wish you all a great weekend.
Cars and Girls, Goodwood Festival of Speed 2012 — By Lawrence on June 29, 2012 at 5:34 pm — No Comments
A motorshow wouldn’t be a motorshow without girls! Goodwood Festival of Speed 2012 is no exception! We’ve put together a brief gallery of girls spotted on the stands and with the cars.
Don’t forget to check out our coverage of the cars at Goodwood Festival of Speed too!
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