The BMW-built four will allegedly power upmarket variants of the Corolla.

The next generation of the Toyota Corolla could receive at least one engine developed and built by BMW.

Citing reports published by Japanese media outlets, website IndianAutosBlog claims the BMW-designed engine will be found under the hood of upmarket variants of Toyota's popular compact model. That hints the unit in question will be a turbo four, but additional details aren't available yet.

There's no indication that Toyota will ask BMW to develop the Corolla's chassis and suspension system; don't expect it to out-handle the Mazda3. The next-generation model will shift to the modular Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) platform that already underpins the fourth-generation Prius, and it will retain roughly the same footprint as the current model (pictured).

We won't see the next Corolla until 2018 at the earliest, so Toyota has plenty of time to figure out which engine(s) it will borrow from its industrial partner.

A BMW-powered Corolla sounds odd, but stranger things have happened. The Munich-based firm's 2.4-liter turbodiesel straight-six engine was installed under the hood of Lincoln's Continental sedan and Mark VII coupe during the mid-1980s in a bid to fend off growing competition from Mercedes-Benz. Sales were dismal at best, and Lincoln quickly pulled the plug on the project.