OK, this wins for unlikely news item of the week. Or possibly year. Deutsche Welle reports that days after Toyota president Akiotoyoda spoke of plans to
‘‘ deepen alliances’’, rumours abound that the Japanese maker is talking with BMW. Under a proposed deal, Bimmer would supply diesel engines to hybridspruiking Toyota in return for hybrid engine know-how, Japanese business daily Nikkei reports. For their part, the Bavarians want to expand into hybrids and EVS, while Toyota struggles for growth in Europe where about half of passenger cars are powered by oilers. A hybrid 3 Series is tentatively slated for Australian release in 2014. A Camry diesel, then? Maybe not so unlikely.
UNDER THE GRILLE
Audi is working on a range-wide revamp of its design to establish a greater variety of design cues, Autocar reports. Audi design director Stefan Sielaff says the company went into the project to differentiate a line-up in which basically the same single-frame grille is plastered in every model. Under the acronym AQR (A for Audi, sedans and hatches; Qfor Quattro, SUVS; and R for sports cars), Sielaff’s team are penning noses for each type. ‘‘ We know that some people think our (sedans) look too alike,’’ he says.
Jaguar is not delighted with NCAP after the latest round of crash testing gave its XF four stars, the same as the prefacelift model. The company says the XF’S adult occupancy score was 1 per cent under the five-star threshold, child occupancy missed out by 2 per cent but pedestrian and safety assist results exceeded five stars. None of this would put Carsguide off the tasteful Jag, if we could raise the readies.