Just over 10 years ago, Hyundai was still pretty much the black sheep of the automotive industry. Despite the fact that the Hyundai Excel of the 1980s won several awards, Hyundai’s quality was still considered low and very few took them seriously. In the past 10 years, Hyundai has managed to dig itself out of the grave that it placed itself in and is now a legitimate competitor to import giants like Honda, Toyota, and Nissan.
Regardless of the brand’s recent resurgence, no one would ever suspect that the words “BMW” and “Hyundai” would ever be used in the same sentence, except in the case of someone saying “I can’t afford a BMW, but this Hyundai will do.” Well, that was until just now…
There are rumors being passed around the automotive world that Hyundai and BMW have been seen courting one another rather intensely, as reports indicate that Chung Euisun, the son of Hyundai’s chairman, and BMW brass were discussing sharing engine development costs.
These types of development sharing partnerships are not uncommon. Currently, we have Audi sharing its cost with VW, Toyota and Subaru joined up for the BRZ/GT 86/FR-S project, and in the past we have seen Ford and Mazda joining forces. However, those collaborations are all pretty much linear, as they are all on the same level with each other. With exception to the top-level Genesis sedan and Equus, Hyundai couldn’t be much more non-linear with BMW. In fact, Hyundai is pretty much the anti-BMW.
In reality though, Hyundai does build quality engines now and they still remain significantly cheaper than BMWs. With CAFE regulations becoming more of a reality every day, BMW needs to find a way to increase its vehicles’ fuel mileage without sharply increasing cost. Sharing some developmental cost with a company that produces quality and economically friendly engines just might do the trick.
As expected, both companies have adamantly denied any discussions of collaborating, but that means nothing in this day and age. Nearly every car company denies everything until they decide to officially release it.
We’ll keep you updated on this situation as more info comes out.
Image is of the 3.8-liter Lambda engine with direct injection (GDI) technology found in the 2012 Hyundai Genesis.