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Electric cars in SA

The debate on whether or not Electric Vehicles (EV) are viable in South Africa rages on.

That a Beemer or vice Verso?

2013-12-02 13:23

A BEEMER TOYOTA? Leading Japanese automaker Toyota has announced its first model with a BMW engine. It will be used in its new 1.6 D-4D Verso in 2014. Image: Toyota

Toyota will launch its 1.6 D-4D Verso in 2014 with a BMW engine. Bet you didn’t see that one coming?

The long-standing Germany vs. Japan car war is about to be thrown out of the window because Toyota will for the first time have a BMW engine in one of its cars - the next Verso due for launch in 2014.

Toyota said the 1.6 D-4D compact MPV's engines would be supplied under a contract agreed by the manufacturers in 2011.

MORE JOINT VENTURES

Sourcing diesel engines is but one aspect of a wider collaboration between Toyota and the  BMW Group: there could also be fuel cells, a feasibility study for the joint development of a sports-car platform, co-operation on creating light vehicle bodies and joint research into lithium-air batteries.

Toyota SA says there are no plans yet to introduce the 1.6 D-4D BMW engine to its Verso range.

The 83kW unit will increase the number of  engines available to Verso customers in the UK.

Toyota UK president and CEO Didier Leroy said: “At Toyota, we believe that tackling the environmental challenges facing our industry will require more than one approach. Hybrid is at the core of our strategy towards sustainable mobility but we also see a role for clean diesel in Europe.

“Working with an industry leader such as BMW allows us to benefit from economies of scale to reduce development costs as well as improve our time-to-market.”

The research and development team at Toyota’s European technical centre in Belgium led the development of the Verso 1.6 D-4D, ensuring a seamless match between the engine and Toyota's transmission and electronics.

This involved the development of a number of new components, including engine mounts, a dual-mass flywheel, a new gearbox housing and gearing and a stop/start system to further improve efficiency and reduce emissions.

Production of the Verso 1.6 D-4D will begin in January 2014 at a Toyota plant in Turkey, the centre for all Verso manufacturing.


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