By on August 7, 2017

welders teamwork, Image: lisafx/Bigstock

On Friday, Matt Posky brought us the news that Mazda and Toyota are shacking up, striking a deal to construct a joint-venture manufacturing facility plus a sharing of EV tech. Mazda’s no stranger to cooperating with other car companies, from churning out sister vehicles to Ford in the 90s and lending the MX-5 platform to Fiat just last year.

These partnerships make sense, given the scale and complexity of auto manufacturing. Tossing aside geography, finance, and politics for a moment, let us ask you this: what two companies would you like to see collaborate with the goal of making something truly fantastic?

The partnership of Toyota and BMW to build a two-door, rear-drive sports car has been in the works since the Dawn of Time. With the Z4 being unceremoniously dumped in 2016 and Toyota looking for a worthy Supra successor, the car – should it ever come to fruition, maybe we’ll see something at the LA show this sall – will plug a couple of coupe-shaped holes in each manufacturer’s lineup. More high-powered rear-drive coupes in showrooms is never a bad thing.

I think it’d be stupendous if Nissan got together with VW, specifically Bugatti, to develop the next GT-R. The current 565 hp Godzilla is a giant-slayer, keeping up with supercars costing twice as much. Imagine combining the team who insists on handcrafting their 3.8-liter twin-turbo V6 in a hermetically-sealed room with the boffins that lashed four turbochargers to a W16 engine. It’ll never happen, but it boggles the mind what could result.

Never mind impracticalities – what collaboration would rank high on your list? Don’t limit your imagination to current marques either; feel free to imagine collaborations of past nameplates, too. A Pontiac Silverado, complete with twin-kidney grilles and lower bodyside cladding, perhaps? Whoa. Hang on. I’m having trouble shifting that image…

[Image: lisafx/Bigstock]

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49 Comments on “QOTD: What’s Your All-star Marque Mash-up?...”


  • avatar
    chaparral

    This one might happen: Lotus’s chassis with a modern compact turbocharged engine. The Volvo B3154 and B4204 are now “in the family” so it may happen.

  • avatar
    iNeon

    Does it count if it was a prototype/concept already?

    Chrysler ME-412 :D

  • avatar
    ajla

    Charger 392 + Lexus build quality and longevity.

    • 0 avatar

      They could put the LF-A engine in a new LS-F.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      This. Chrysler’s willingness to make desirable and interesting vehicles (Wrangler, Power Wagon, Charger/Challenger/300), with Toyota’s commitment to quality and reliability. I would so drive a Toyota-proofed Charger.

      • 0 avatar
        Speed3

        I agree. FCA with Japanese quality and reliability.

        While Toyota has no need for FCA, Honda could bring the same kind of improvement and there is much less overlap between the two companies.

        Alternatively, I’d like to see either Mercedes-Benz or Toyota acquire Aston Martin and make it a Bentley/Rolls rival.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          Speed3,
          Hyundai/Kia will buy FCA, cheap when FCA fall over into a heap.

          Hyundai/Kia can then remove all the deadwood vehicles and keep 75% of Jeeps and Ram pickups.

        • 0 avatar
          Kyree S. Williams

          Daimler acquired 5% of Aston Martin recently, which gives the former access to Mercedes-AMG parts. Check out the new DB11. It’s chock-full of Mercedes bits, like all of the interfaces and the COMAND system. And the base V8 is an adapted Mercedes-AMG engine…whereas the V12 was developed in-house and is an evolution of the V12 Aston has been using, technically making it a distant relative of Ford’s Duratec architecture.

  • avatar
    Ltd1983

    Any mainstream automakers with lots of R&D money who buy an exotic brand is a good thing.

    Ex: VW buying Lamborghini. Lamborghinis got more reliable and usable, and Audis got some screaming V10’s.

    I want Toyota to buy Aston Martin and put a loud V12 in the Supra. Or Honda needs to buy McLaren for some re-emphasis on handling and light weight.

  • avatar
    Ermel

    I loved the Citroen/Maserati cooperation in the 70s, despite the resulting cars’ well-deserved nickname “la grande complication”.

    Today, I could imagine Citroen/Tesla: Citroen brings Wankel-based range extenders (they still have the patents, and for that application the Wankel isn’t all that bad, tiny and light and quiet as it is), Hydractive suspension, a range of entry-level models (which would need to be electrified of course), and a European dealership network, maybe also a factory or three. Tesla OTOH contributes design, BEV know-how, Lithium batteries, luxury-level credibility, design, and hype.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    FCA and Geely.

    Wait…I think Sergio Marchionne is already on the phone…

  • avatar
    Nedmundo

    Too late for this, but I wanted to see SAAB absorbed by Mazda. They shared similar philosophies, and SAAB could have effectively become Mazda’s premium marque.

    The tastiest fruit of this merger may have been an updated SAAB Sonnett sports car based on the Miata, but with SAAB turbo power. Or maybe the incredible SAAB 9X concept could have reached production, with Mazda reliability, and could have spawned a Mazdaspeed3.

    For something (barely) closer to reality, how about Honda collaborate with GM on a lightweight, RWD based sedan platform that could be the next Acura RLX and Cadillac CTS. Acura needs RWD, and GM could use Honda’s expertise in space efficiency and other areas.

  • avatar
    ydnas7

    GM to bring VIA motors inhouse, use 60kWh bolt batteries in GMC PHEVs

    Ford to make a deal with Workhorse, make a 60kWh F150 PHEV.

    Mitsubishi to be taken over by Nissan, and make next gen Rogue PHEV.

    Nissan’s stretched Chinese, dual sunroof, VIP Altimas to meet Nissan’s 80kWh battery.

    A Lexus branded LADA.

    Tesla’s model 3 blueprints to be widely circulated to unscrupulous Chinese copycat car companies and cloned over and over and over again on late 1990 chassis of all makes and models for the next 2 decades….

    I guess those blueprints are being created right about now.

  • avatar
    jthorner

    I’m not sure who the match-ups will be, but I expect there to be 1/2 as many independent car companies ten years from now. The development and marketing costs are crushing.

    • 0 avatar
      arach

      I actually thing there will be MORE.

      I think we’re going to see more partnerships between OEMs and therefore more standardized platforms. standardized cross-brand platforms means more opportunities for small players to enter the market.

      Right now most niche players use a motor from another company. As EVs and whatnot become more popular, there’s no reason you won’t commoditize the chassis and drivetrains, which means being a niche manufacturer will become quite a bit easier.

  • avatar
    Shortest Circuit

    Alfa Giulia QV, but Lexus electrics?

  • avatar

    What most suggestions here will end up being is the STYLE from an unreliable marque, with the MECHANICAL bits from a reliable one.

    The solution overall is for reliable car companies to hire the design firms doing the stylish things for other companies.

    There is no reason Lexus and Infiniti vehicles need to be so ugly. Hire Pininfarina.

  • avatar
    Parousia

    Hyundai and McLaren. Balls out performance with a 10-year warranty at a discount price. (Or, it might result in a compact sedan with wide door sills made from carbon-fiber and sub-par infotainment.)

  • avatar
    notapreppie

    How about we re-do the Toyota-Subaru partnership only with, you know, more turbo. I still don’t understand how they didn’t just pull one of Subaru’s WRX motors out of the parts bin for that project… ¯_(ツ)_/¯

    I’m hoping the Toyota-Mazda pairing will lead to Toyota-like reliability (and maybe paint quality?) with Mazda’s fun-to-drive. That way, the Toyazda will still be fun to drive and rust-free ten years down the road.

    Actually, I’d really like to see old Mazda and new Mazda team up. Dust off the FD RX-7 or SII RX-8 platform, give it the modernization treatment and put the goddamn SkyActiv 2.5T engine in it. Or maybe the insanity of some tiny V6 engine like the MX-3.

  • avatar
    arach

    Koenigsegg and Mazda

    I know it sounds crazy at first, but there is no freaking overlap at all. Christian VK can be the developmental arm and allow trickle down innovations (seriously, camless compression ignition mazda?) Mazda has actually always been a pretty innovative company.

    Mazda is both innovative in the engine category… and lacking. They don’t jump on to the bandwagons of other companies, and build decent chassis.

    I know everyone loves the RX7 for its performance and rotary, but I think thats the piece mazda is missing. I know they may be coming out with a mazdaspeed 3 and 6, but Working with Christian VK would be amazing.

    I think Koenigsegg would also like it, because I think he loves building what he builds, but would like his reach to be a bit greater. Mazda offers that greater reach without being tied to some overweight, over-mass-market corporation (think Shelby with Ford for example)… and there’s no way his involvement with Mazda would compromise his research and primary Koenigsegg brand, and in fact it might actually speed it out because he can get greater economies of scale from his innovations.

    I’ll take it.

  • avatar

    Mazda and Alfa Romeo: I think Mazda is already the modern Alfa with fun to drive cars that are reliable–all that’s missing is Italian style.

    It’s too late for this, but if Toyota could have bought Bertone to be their own in house styling, we might have seen some astoundingly beautiful Lexus products.

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    Toyota/Lexus and Land Rover. A Range Rover with a Land Cruiser powertrain, suspension, and electronics, would be amazing. Dependability of a Land Cruiser, refinement of a Rangie.

  • avatar
    tonyola

    ZIL and Lincoln.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    First I would like to see how well Mercedes Benz “tuned” the Navara.

    I do believe the X Class, especially if they can come up with an AMG version will be quite a change for the global midsizers.

    At the moment the Ranger and Amarok are supposed to be the Duck’s Guts.

    With longer control arms, different rear suspension and drivetrain. It will be interesting to see this new pickup. It will hopefully be the best pickup available (discounting the 6×6 AMG G Wagen).

    This new cross pollinated Nissan come Mercedes isn’t a dream, it’s coming.

  • avatar
    turf3

    Studebaker and Nash.

  • avatar
    turf3

    Toyota buys into Citroen and re-issues the DS, but with a Prius drivetrain.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      So its gutless and gets great MPG in a land of cheap fuel? The Prius drivetrain isn’t working for the Prius itself right now, and it didn’t work for Lexus in the past.

      It couldn’t possibly be similar to the old one, it would be bigger and heavier and blockier to deal with crash tests, pedestrian safety, modern expectations of quietness and high end materials, all of which are heavy.

      Oh, but $8/gal is coming. Should be any day now. It’ll put everyone in their place: miserable beyond the malaise era.

  • avatar
    George B

    I just want to see deals where the LSx V8 find a home in non-GM vehicles. It clearly fits in BMWs, the Toyota 86, and even the Miata. If GM had any sense it would find a home the Cadillac ATS and CTS.

    • 0 avatar
      raph

      The CTS-V is powered by the LT4 (the LS V8 was revised into the direct injected LT engine so all the LS stuff is either leftover GM or boneyard material).

      Anyways…

      LS anything swapped anything has become the very definition of trite. Yeah its a great engine and makes gobs of power on the cheap in a small light package but I’m fairly certain the LS crowd is just doing swaps these days to troll everybody else.

  • avatar
    NMGOM

    TTAC: “What’s Your All-star Marque Mash-up?”

    1) The new Bollinger B1 electric SUV/Truck —
    — versus —
    2) The Jeep Wrangler Unlimited (4-Door) Rubicon —
    — doing The Rubicon Trail.

    No recharging / no refueling.

    =========================

  • avatar
    raph

    Not really a manufacturer but man I’d really love to do a Factory Five Type 65 build with FRPP’s new 5.2 liter CPC V8. It puts out a nice 580 horsepower at the crank with the CJ intake. Swap that for a IR intake from Borla and either go speed density or build a Lexan air box around the individual runners allowing the engine to draw from a single mass air meter will still exposing all those sweet throttle blades in action.

    Factory Five also has a bunch of aero bits that make the coupe even sexier.

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    Subaru buying Saab and marketing it as a premium brand. After all they already built the 9-2X. A 9-3 with a boxer turbo and AWD would have been neat.

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