Autocar confidential: Toyota fuel cell tech, diesel BMW M cars and more

Toyota Mirai fuel cell

Toyota is developing fuel cell technology for 2025

Our reporters empty their notebooks to round up this week’s gossip from across the automotive industry

This week’s snippets of automotive news includes Toyota’s advances in fuel cell tech, Nissan’s plans for its hot division and why Skoda is facing a “nice” problem.

Toyota fuel cell advances

Toyota officials have revealed that they’re already working on their third-generation fuel cell, ready for production in around 2025, even though the second-gen development is not expected to go on sale until 2020. The third-gen unit is being co-developed with BMW, suggesting the German car maker will launch its first hydrogen production car around 2025. Toyota has said it expects the tech to cost the same as the equivalent hybrid car from that date.

Nissan Nismo growth

Nissan’s hot Nismo sub-brand will get bigger, reckons Nissan design boss Alfonso Albaisa. He said: “We’re trying to get Nismo in the market as much as possible. This is something people want to do to their cars, and we want to represent edginess.” He called the Nismo team the company’s “mad scientists”.

Skoda demand challenges

What’s the worst nice problem for a car maker? Being able to sell more cars than you can build, an issue affecting Skoda. “A nice problem is still a problem,” said CEO Bernhard Maier. “We can use the time to build residuals, focus on reliability and enhance profitability but, while they are great to have, they just lead to more demand.”

No BMW M diesel

BMW is still committed to making high-performance diesel cars, but it is almost certain there will never be a full-blooded M-badged diesel. Dirk Hacker, vice president of BMW M, said: “M cars must have competition pedigree, and there’s no real outlet for diesel racing now. Today, there is not even one discussion about a potential diesel M car.”

Related stories: 

Toyota Auris diesel ditched due to low sales

BMW confirms that hybrid M cars are in the works

Toyota Mirai long-term test report

Source: Autocar Online

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