Munich, Germany: BMW and Toyota announced further strengthening of their recent Hybrid and Sports Car Alliance.  Akio Toyoda, President of Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC), met with the chairman of the board of management of BMW AG, Norbert Reithofer, at BMW Group headquarters in Munich to announce the projected growth regarding their existing cooperation started in Dec last year. Together they signed a memorandum of understanding geared at long-term strategic collaboration in 4-fields: joint development of a fuel cell system, joint development of architecture and components for a future sports vehicle, cooperation on powertrain electrification and combined R&D on lightweight technologies.

Reithofer and Toyoda simultaneously signed a Joint Statement to confirm their companies’ shared desire to strengthen a long-term, strategic alliance between these two automotive power-houses.

According to Reithofer from BMW:

We aim to further strengthen our competitive position in sustainable future technologies. We signed an MoU to this effect today. 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.

As for Mr. Toyoda, he stressed the following:

BMW and Toyota both want to make ever-better cars. We respect each other. And I think this is shown by our taking the next step only six months since the signing of our initial agreement. 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.

This should come as good news for environmentally conscious as well for true automotive sports car enthusiasts. Does this mean a BMWi powered by Toyota technology, or a standard Hybrid technology trickling down to the 3-Series? Could that mark the return of the BMW M1 that shares it’s underlying architecture with the next generation, cheaper version of the Lexus LFA supercar? The next few months should  reveal more on that.