BMW and Toyota’s collaboration could expand beyond their sports car project, according to a report by Left Lane News. Citing IndianAutosBlog, the auto news site says Toyota’s Corolla will get at least one engine from BMW for range-topping trims. The rumor is light on details, but suggests a turbocharged four-cylinder will slot under the compact’s hood. Neither Toyota nor BMW has commented on the reports.
Until now, it was assumed that BMW and Toyota’s joint efforts would extend only to the Supra successor/BMW Z4 project, but this report suggests there could be several co-developed vehicles. The sports car project will supposedly place a BMW engine within a Toyota-developed chassis, like the Corolla rumor, but whether BMW will have a hand in adjusting the Corolla’s suspension, brakes, or other performance characteristics remains a mystery.
While the partnership between a Japanese mainstream automaker and a German luxury brand makes sense for a performance car, a co-developed Corolla is a bit more odd. Then again, though the Corolla has always been among the best-selling cars in its segment, its engine performance is consistently behind rivals. With the help of a BMW motor, the Corolla could sway buyers whose only complaint has been power.
Whether the rumors prove true, the next-generation Corolla will ride on Toyota’s new global platform that was first introduced on the new Prius. As we’ve experienced in the Prius liftback and Prius Prime, this new chassis is significantly improved in terms of ride quality and handling. Should a more potent engine find its way under the Corolla’s hood, the compact should offer a better challenge to Honda’s Civic and Mazda’s 3.
Production of the new Corolla won’t commence until at least 2018, so expect more sources to confirm or deny these claims before then.