Whether Apple is planning to make its own car has been a hot topic of speculation for years. And none of the technology giant's recent moves have done anything but stoke the fires of the rumor mill.

According to Automotive News (subscription required), Apple executives—including CEO Tim Cook—visited BMW's headquarters sometime last year, and the team was treated to an extensive tour of the facilities used to build the electric i3 city car. While there was some talk of BMW licensing parts, the alleged takeaway was that Apple wasn't looking for a partner, but rather had embarked on a fact-finding mission with the eye on developing its own car, which is said to be code-named Titan and could debut as soon as 2020.

Numerous signs point to how and why the Apple car might not just be a piece of vaporware.

Late last month the Cupertino company hired former Chrysler quality chief Doug Betts, which is significant given his area of expertise is in automotive manufacturing, not software. And back in February, battery maker A123 Systems filed a lawsuit which accused Apple of stealing the battery maker's talent to flesh out its automotive team, now said to have over 200 members.

Of course, anything related to the look, operation, or construction of an Apple car is pure speculation. But it's safe to say it'll be closer to an i3 or Tesla than a Hellcat. Stay tuned.


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