Briefly: Subaru, Toyota, Mazda and five other major Japanese car manufacturers have signed an accord to work together on improving the efficiency of their diesel and petrol engines. Although they won't be working together specifically on any one engine project, this could mean significant leaps forward in the overall fuel consumption of Japanese vehicles delivered to Australia.
Japan's Mainichi Shimbun reports that industry sources have confirmed the partnership, with Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Suzuki, Daihatsu, Mazda, Mitsubishi and Fuji Heavy Industries — the parent company of Subaru — all working together on various fuel efficiency developments.
Toyota and Fuji Heavy Industries recently collaborated on the Toyota 86, simultaneously sold as the Subaru BRZ. The BRZ86 uses a mostly-Subaru-designed boxer engine, but Toyota contributed its direct fuel injection, and the cars use Aisin gearboxes (a company partially owned by the Toyota group).
By all accounts the 86 is quite an impressive result from that partnership; if eight Japanese car makers pull together to make more modern and high-tech cars, this can only be a good thing. There's nothing but an agreement so far, but hopefully that'll change in years to come. [Mainichi]