Toyota sees the addition of a BMW-sourced diesel engine will allow it to become more competitive in the compact minivan segment in Europe. To start off, Toyota will start offering BMW's 1.6-liter diesel in its Verso model starting February 2014. Gerald Killmann, project director at Toyota Motor Europe's r&d center, told Automotive News Europe that over 50 percent of the European minivan sector is powered by 1.6-liter diesel, which they didn't have.
The 1.6-liter diesel powerplant is the first product of a two-year-old technology cooperation between Toyota and BMW, which also includes fuel cells, lithium-air batteries and lightweight technologies. In the first 10 months of 2013, Toyota sold 29,303 Versos in Europe, according to JATO Dynamics.
In the same period, Renault sold 93,508 Scenics, Ford sold 84,441 C-Max units, and VW sold 76,867 Tourans -- all of which are available with 1.6-liter diesels. Those were the top 3 compact minivans in Europe in terms of sales after 10 months, according to JATO. Starting next year, the new Verso 1.6 D-4D will be powered by the same 112-hp diesel that also powers the Mini Cooper D and the BMW 114d.
The new diesel engine will be slotted in below Toyota's 2.0-liter diesel, which returns emissions of 129 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometre. The BMW unit returns 119g/km, matching the emissions by the Touran 105-hp 1.6-liter variant with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.
According to Killmann, the two gasoline versions of the Verso account for 68 percent of its sales in Europe. The diesel option was also part of Toyota’s effort to increase the Verso's sales in markets that raise tax on cars with high-placement engines like Turkey.