In 2012, BMW and Toyota formed a technical partnership in order to reduce costs in the development and production of a next-generation mid-sized two-seater sports car. What will come of this is likely to be something epic.
BMW, with its aging Z4 range, is looking to revamp the Z series with a new sports coupe, which is expected to be called the Z5. Toyota’s interest in the joint-venture takes form in the desire to produce a revitalized Supra, something that fans of the model have been deprived of since 2002.
Both these cars will reap the benefits of technological advances and the combined knowledge of these two manufacturers. BMW is believed to be in charge of developing the engine, as well as implementing their knowledge of lightweight materials that work so well on their eco-friendly range of i –cars. On the other hand, Toyota will be responsible for the electric motors and bodywork construction.
Although the cars are still in the development phase, what we do know is that both cars will share the same chassis design, but will differ in that they will be the foundation to different bodies and powertrains. Under the hood both cars are expected to house a three or four cylinder petrol engine linked to electric motors, making these cars hybrids.
Motoring purists may moan at the sound of another hybrid, but when we look at the astonishing performance capabilities of some hybrids, such as the BMW i8, Porsche 918, McLaren P1 or Ferrari La Ferrari, it is certainly something to get excited about. Obviously the standards set out by these supercars won’t be met, but nonetheless what comes of this project will most likely result in impressive performance stats suitable for everyday driving.
There are various photos and concept designs floating around the Internet depicting what these cars are expected to look like. If the final products resemble these concepts in the slightest, then we are in for a real treat. The Z5 concept encapsulates the essence of prestige and luxury while maintaining an aggressive stance typical of a performance BMW. The Supra concept hones in on the original long and low design, boasting extensive swooping lines that make it look like it was developed in a wind tunnel, and sitting silently at the front is a nose that looks like it has been pinched off a formula 1 car. Each to their own, these concepts look fantastic.
The last time Toyota teamed up with a car company, they produced a car that sold in great number, with over 70,000 cars sold worldwide. This car was the Toyota 86, a car produced in partnership with Subaru, who are now selling their variant as the BRZ. With consistent positive reviews, the 86 was definitely a success. BMW and Toyota can only hope to have as much success as the 86 when the results of their work are released into our market……but by the sounds of what they are planning…..it wouldn’t at all be surprising if they did.
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