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Auto blogTue, 03 Dec 2013 17:14:00 EST
BMW makes some sweet-revving engines, but its own vehicles aren't the only ones running BMW engines. So do the latest from Rolls-Royce and Mini, of course, as well as a handful of Peugeots and Citroëns thanks to its joint engine program with PSA. Wiesmann uses BMW engines, as did the famous McLaren F1. And now we can add one more to the list.
That would be the Toyota Verso, a Corolla-based minivan which Toyota builds in Turkey and sells in Europe and a few other markets overseas. The Verso is also now officially the first beneficiary of the partnership between Toyota and BMW as the Japanese automaker has released the MPV with BMW's 1.6-liter turbodiesel four.
The 111-horsepower engine is coupled to a Toyota transmission and joins the Verso range as the fourth (and least powerful) engine in the lineup, alongside the 122hp 2.0 diesel and the gasoline options with 1.6 liters and 160 hp and 1.8 for 180. Future collaborations between the two automakers will include fuel-cell development, a new joint sportscar platform, lightweight bodywork research and a new generation of lithium-air batteries. See the press release below for further details.
Bloomberg reports shifting tariff regulations have upended the traditional automotive pecking order in Korea. Thanks to cheaper import taxes, foreign brands have seen market share jump from 28 percent to 41 percent over the last two years. BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi have all capitalized on the shift, with domestics like Hyundai and Kia suffering at the hands of their German rivals.
Taxes on European imports have fallen from 8 percent in 2011 to just 3.2 percent today. Over the next few years, tariffs will all but be eliminated for most imports, and taxes on US-made vehicles are expected to fall to just 4 percent in 2014. By 2016, that number will be zero. Needless to say, Hyundai and Kia are concerned about the shift.
Hyundai has seen profit fall by 15 percent last quarter, and the company says it is on pace to see the slowest sales growth since 2007. The company's shares have fallen by 12 percent. In order to stem the losses, Hyundai has discounted its midsize sedans and started working on diesel engine options.
Based on the effort - and money - BMW is spending to break off the coupes and convertibles in its lineup as even-numbered models (like the new 2 Series and 4 Series), we figured the production version of the 2012 Concept Active Tourer was a lock to wear the 1 Series GT name. These spy shots paint a different picture, however, as they show the car seemingly in full showroom-ready trim during a photo shoot, wearing the 225i name indicating that it will be in the 2 Series family.
While it's still very possible that this badging is the final bit of trickery for disguising the front-wheel-drive 1 Series GT, the hatchback itself appears to be the real deal. Aside from new fascias, a smaller grille and slightly different lights, the styling of this "225i" stayed pretty true to the Concept Active Tourer. Thanks to our long-lensed photographer, we also get a brief glimpse inside the hatchback, which reveals a two-tiered instrument panel layout including the free-standing navigation display that is similar to the concept car.
Regardless of what name this new model will wear, expect it to be unveiled at next year's Geneva Motor Show in March before arriving in the US sometime in 2015.