Let’s think of ways the Toyota Corolla could be made more exciting. The compact sedan is one of the most reliable and practical little cars money can buy, but it’s also one of the least exciting. The Corolla lacks performance and handles about as well as a dishwasher around corners, but people buy it because they appreciate its value and long-term reliability.
To make it more exciting, maybe Toyota could throw in a turbocharger or upgrade the exhaust system. Or maybe the company could drop in a new engine. Maybe even a BMW motor. But that would never happen, right?
Citing reports out of Japan, Indian Autos Blog claims upmarket trims of Toyota’s popular compact family sedan will be offered with an engine developed and built by BMW. Details are scarce, but it will likely be a 4-cylinder turbo. The German automaker probably won’t have much to do with the chassis and suspension system, but the extra prestige and power could elevate the lowly Corolla into a desirable somewhat-sporty sedan.
Just speculating here, but the Corolla could get BMW’s 180-horsepower 2.0-liter engine or, less desirably, the company’s 1.5-liter 3-cylinder. That engine manages a respectable 134 horsepower and 162 pound-feet of torque in the MINI Cooper.
Either motor would significantly improve the feel of the Corolla when compared to its current 1.8-liter, which has 132 horsepower and 128 pound-feet of torque while also positively impacting its fuel economy.
The partnership comes as the Japanese and German automakers continue work on the new Supra/Z4, which should debut sometime in 2018. The Supra will get a BMW engine and the Z4 will get Toyota’s tried-and-true hybrid system.
This is a partnership that’s already showing signs of success, and we can’t wait to see what happens next.
Would you be more likely to buy a Corolla if it had a BMW heart?