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BMW, Toyota to build fuel cells for sports cars

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BMW and Toyota are to work together on the development of fuel cell and electric powertrains, the two automotive giants said today.

Neither firm went into any detail about the R&D programme, but the two companies' principals were keen to stress how the agreement is good for both: BMW gets access to Toyota's work on hybrids and fuel-cell tech, while the Japanese car maker will take advantage of BMW's expertise in designing sports cars.

One of the outcomes of the deal will be the "architecture and components for a future sports vehicle".

Given the fact that fuel cells, "powertrain electrification" and joint R&D into "lightweight technologies", are all central to the partnership, it's not hard to imagine that said future sportster will make use of them.

"I am excited to think of the cars that will result from this relationship," enthused Toyota chief Akio Toyoda.

There'll be some more immediate, more prosaic outcomes too, such as BMW selling Toyota Europe diesel engines from 2014 onwards.

The agreement follows a similar partnership the two struck up in March and builds on a broad co-operation plan announced back in December 2011. That March 2012 deal will see the pair engaging in joint research into a new generation of lithium-ion batteries. ®

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