This is the equivalent of BMW and Toyota’s relationship becoming Facebook official.
Like a friendship that flourishes quickly, starting with an occasional “how ya doin’?” in the hallway and morphing into bar room meetings after work, Toyota and BMW are rapidly moving past the initial plan to collaborate on a two-door sports car and onto bigger and better things. Indian Auto Blog caught wind of another collaboration between the two automakers that might make Toyota’s lineup of family-friendly picks a little less mundane. Citing several Japanese reports, IAB claims that the next generation of Corolla could get an engine from BMW.
BMW hasn't replied to our requests for comment, but this would be an interesting prospect for both automakers given that part of Toyota’s brand appeal is its sky high reliability ratings from Consumer Reports bolstered by Toyota’s well-made engines. Not that BMW can’t make an engine, its line of inline six power plants are known as some of the most smooth in the industry. On the other hand, the Corolla is one of the best selling cars in the US, so it’s not exactly reasonable to expect BMW to produce such a high number of engines, nor does it make much sense for Toyota to contract another automaker to make all its motors. The unit in question could be BMW's 1.5-liter three cylinder (a detuned version of the lump in the BMW i8) or a 2.0-liter four banger.
For now we know the next generation Corolla will come with multiple Toyota options including a 1.5-liter four-cylinder, a hybrid variant of that engine, a 1.8-liter four-cylinder, and a 1.2-liter turbocharged unit. The Bavarian engine would fit into the mix by slotting above all of those, being offered on only the highest trim Corollas and allowing the automaker to use it as a selling point for customers wanting to be set apart from the crowd. The Corolla will launch globally in 2018 and ride on Toyota’s new TNGA (Toyota New Global Architecture, which already underpins the new Prius and increases rigidity, improves crash performance, and stretches wheelbase for more interior room while keeping the overall length consistent. Better look out, Civic.