Europe: Toyota counts on a BMW diesel to lift Verso sales image

Cooperation between rival companies to share development and production costs, or simply buying something from another automaker is something common – and Toyota’s move to source a Diesel engine from BMW is no surprise.

The Japanese automaker, the world’s best selling company, has partnered with BMW, the world’s best selling premium automaker, to equip the Verso model with the new 1.6-liter diesel. Toyota, which typically holds its strength in the gasoline-hybrid area, moves to strengthen its reach in the diesel region, as most of European sales are based on this type of engine.

“The new 1.6 D-4D will be by far the most popular engine in our Verso lineup,” said Fabio Capano, Toyota Europe’s product communications director. “We plan to sell more than 25,000 a year.”

Toyota builds the Verso minivan in Turkey, and up until now it offered the model only with its 2.0 and 2.2-liter diesels, but consumers typically go for a smaller diesel – which is more affordable. The new BMW diesel is sourced from the company’s Steyr, Austria, plant.

“Several key components, such as engine mounts, intake, cooling and fuel systems, had to be re-developed to ensure the mechanical marriage between the engine and the vehicle,” said Mehmet Kilic, Toyota’s project manager responsible for the Toyota/BMW engine integration project.

The engine project is just a small step in the planned cooperation between the two carmakers, which have plans to jointly develop a fuel cell system, they research together lithium air batteries, work on the creation of a next generation lightweight body technology and could even share a future sports car.

Via Automotive News Europe