Apple reportedly met with BMW for help with its secret car project

Specifically, this BMW.
Specifically, this BMW.
Image: Reuters/Mike Segar
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Apple’s potential entry into the electric car market has provoked fevered speculation, with conflicting reports that the company is making some kind of electric minivan, and that it plans on challenging Google and Uber in making a self-driving car.

At the very least, it has poached a bunch of auto and battery engineers. Whatever it ends up doing, it might end up borrowing substantially from what BMW is building. Apple CEO Tim Cook and other executives reportedly met with BMW counterparts in Leipzig to visit the production line of the company’s i3 electric car, according to Germany’s Manager Magazin (link in German, via 9To5Mac).

The magazine reports that Apple is interested in the car’s carbon fiber body, and that negotiations have been ongoing since the fall of 2014, but that no deal is in place.

The i3 is a high-tech and very well regarded compact electric car, and is BMW’s first all electric effort.

Manager Magazin is well regarded, but as with anything having to do with Apple’s foray into the auto market, hard facts are hard to come by. And even if BMW has a hand in the body, production, or propulsion of the vehicle, it’s a safe bet that anything Apple produces will be very, very different from the i3 on the road today.

Apple did not immediately return a request for comment.