BMW and Toyota last week announced a new collaboration that would see the German car maker exchange its small-capacity diesel engines for access to the Japansese manufacturer’s hybrid knowledge.
The car makers will also work together on lithium-ion battery development.
Toyota Australia currently offers diesel engines only in its hardcore 4WDs, the Prado and LandCruiser, as well as its commercial vehicles such as the HiLux ute, but the company wants to extend compression-ignition drivetrains to its passenger cars and car-based SUVs.
Toyota will primarily use BMW’s 1.6-litre and 2.0-litre turbo diesels to help boost sales in Europe where diesels account for more than half the market.
The company’s Australian subsidiary is also hoping the engines to be offered locally, where sales of diesel-powered vehicles continue to grow.
“If they were offered to Australia we would take [the diesel engines] for sure,” says Toyota Australia’s corporate manager of product planning, Greg Gardner.
“We are going to expand our range of diesels and SUVs over the next few years.
“[For Toyota] this is a short-term solution to solve a particular need. Of course European [diesels] tend to be manuals, where Australian buyers prefer automatics.
Gardner lists the Corolla small car and Camry medium car (pictured above in just-released new-generation form) as two obvious candidates for diesel power, while pointing out there’s a RAV4 diesel already available in Europe that would also appeal.
Specific details about the BMW engines haven’t been released, but CarAdvice understands the 1.6-litre turbo diesel is the 82kW/270Nm unit found in the Mini Cooper D as well as the new 1-Series and 3-Series.
This engine itself is a detuned version of BMW’s 2.0-litre turbo diesel that would be the second offering to Toyota.