BMW and Toyota are joining forces once again. After the Supra-Z4 project, they're set to make a new crossover, but it's BMW who needs Toyota's help this time around. Given Toyota's background and experience building and developing hydrogen-powered vehicles, BMW has tapped their resources to help them build a fuel-cell version of the X5.
This isn't BMW's first foray into fuel-cell tech, having experimented with it sporadically in the '00s with 750hl and Hydrogen 7. It only ran for two years but the German automaker is giving it another go. Toyota on the other hand has had more success with FCVs for about 20 years now. Japan's largest automaker began development as early as 1992 and began leasing out FCVs in Japan in 2002. They even made hydrogen-powered buses, trucks, and even forklifts. Of course, there's also the Mirai which was introduced in 2014 and the second-generation was shown last year.
What BMW would like is to have Toyota's input and tech for the hydrogen X5. At the time writing, BMW says their fuel-cell prototype makes 170 PS and they are targeting a total system output of 374 PS. In short, BMW wants to make a powerful FCV with a fair amount of help from Toyota. BMW wants to release the X5 FCV by 2022.
As for Toyota, their Mirai will be all set for mass production next year. The second-generation model was previewed during last year's Tokyo Motor Show and presents a significant departure from the 2014 edition. It now rides on the fifthteenth-generation Crown architecture meaning it shifts to a rear-wheel drive platform.
With Toyota's experience in hydrogen power, we might expect more FCVs from BMW in the future, along with more plug-in hybrids and EVs.