BMW and DaimlerChrysler are currently developing a new rear-wheel-drive hybrid drivetrain, with both manufacturers planning to release vehicles equipped with the system within the next three years. This rush to market of the new drivetrain is the main reason for the forming of a partnership back in 2005, which has allowed engineers to reduce both lead times and development costs.

Mercedes already gave us a glimpse of what’s to come with its previous Direct hybrid and Bluetec hybrid concept cars based on the S-Class saloon, which were displayed back in 2005 at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

Each brand will use its own unique system with individual components, and it’s likely their respective vehicles will be in substantially different segments. Development work is currently being handled by teams in Germany as well as Troy’s new Hybrid Development Center in the US, a joint-venture between GM, DaimlerChrysler and BMW.