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Toyota Verso to get BMW diesel

2013-12-05 09:40:13     by

Tags: Toyota,BMW

  Toyota expects the addition of a BMW-sourced diesel will make it more competitive in Europe's compact minivan segment. Starting in February, the Toyota Verso will be offered with BMW's 1.6-liter diesel.

  "More than 50 percent of this minivan sector is 1.6-liter diesel, which we didn't have," Gerald Killmann, project director at Toyota Motor Europe's r&d center, told Automotive News Europe.

  The engine is the first result of a 2-year-old technology collaboration between the automakers that also includes fuel cells, lithium-air batteries and lightweight technologies.

  The agreement also gives Toyota access to BMW's 2.0-liter diesel, but Killmann declined to say which other Toyotas would get BMW units and wouldn't reveal whether the powerplants would be restricted only to Toyota models built in Europe. Toyota builds the Avensis mid-sized and Auris compact cars in the UK and the Yaris subcompact in France.

  CO2 reduction

  The new Verso 1.6 D-4D will get the same 112-hp diesel used in the Mini Cooper D and the BMW 114d. Toyota didn't reveal the starting price of models offered with the new powerplant. He did not comment on whether the next-generation Auris will get the diesel, as reports have said.

  The new engine will be slotted in below Toyota's 2.0-liter diesel, which produces CO2 emissions of 129 grams per kilometer compared with 119g/km for the BMW unit. The CO2 output matches that offered by the Touran 105-hp 1.6-liter variant with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.

  Gasoline leaders

  Killmann said that the two gasoline versions of the Verso account for 68 percent of the model line's sales in Europe. He declined to provide a prediction on how much that percentage might change after the new diesel is added.

  Another reason Toyota wanted the engine was to help boost the Verso's sales in markets that increase tax on cars with high-displacement engines, such as Turkey, where the Verso is built.

  Toyota will continue to build its 1.4-, 2.0- and 2.2-liter D-4D engines in Poland, Killmann said. He added that Toyota is paying BMW for the diesels but declined to reveal how much.

  2-year project

  The work done to adapt the BMW diesel for use in the Verso started a few months before the official announcement of the partnership in 2011. Engineers carried out the work at Toyota Europe's Belgium r&d center, where Killmann is based.

  Toyota developed a new dual-mass flywheel for the engine and added its own start-stop system, the first to go on a Verso.

  "The biggest challenge was mating the two electrical platforms," Killmann said.

  The last time Toyota Europe had to integrate another automaker's engine to an existing car was in the 1990s, when the Corolla used a 1.9-liter diesel from PSA/Peugeot-Citroen.

  "The electronics were much more simple then," Killmann said. "It was much more a mechanical integration than an electrical one."

  Toyota's Lexus premium brand will not use BMW's diesel engines, Toyota said when the partnership was announced.

  Through October, Toyota sold 29,303 Versos in Europe, according to figures from JATO Dynamics.

  In the same period Renault sold 93,508 units of the Scenic, Ford 84,441 C-Max units and VW sold 76,867 Tourans, all of which are available with 1.6-liter diesels.

  The Scenic, C-Max and Touran rank No. 1, 2 and 3 in European compact minivan sales after 10 months.

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