It was in December 2011 when BMW and Toyota reached an agreement to work on a series of eco-friendly technologies. Part of the understanding between the two parties included a note about BMW supplying its turbodiesel 1.6- and 2.0-liter engines to Toyota Motor Europe (TME) starting with 2014. The Verso MPV and the Avensis midsize sedan and wagon were blessed with BMW power, and now it appears the Corolla is next in line if we were to rely on reports originating from Japan.
Details are scarce at the moment of writing, but it seems the next-generation Corolla will get a BMW engine, likely reserved for the higher-spec variants. The identity of the engine(s) has not been disclosed, although the unit(s) in question might be the aforementioned diesels, or at least one of the two.
As a reminder, in January 2013 the two automakers deepened their collaboration as the two agreed to jointly develop a sports car. Due most likely by the end of 2017 or early 2018, it’s going to take the shape of a Supra revival in the case of Toyota and at the same time will also serve as a successor of the Z4 for BMW.
Such a tie-up between two very different manufacturers to share engines might seem odd, but let’s not forget Daimler has a similar partnership with the Renault-Nissan alliance from where it sources the 1.5-liter dCi powering the models part of the Mercedes A-Class family and the B-Class. The collaboration goes both ways as Nissan’s premium brand Infiniti is using some Mercedes engines.
Getting back to the Corolla, it is worth to point out the twelfth generation is going to be an all-new model taking into account it will make the switch to the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) that has underpinned the latest Prius and C-HR crossover. The world's best-selling car will make the transition towards a new iteration probably by the end of 2018.