BMW and Toyota collaboration to spawn two new sports cars
Car giants BMW and Toyota are working together to create two new sports cars – a fresh BMW Z4 and a replacement for the iconic Toyota Supra. These new four-wheel-drive hybrids may share much of their technology under the skin but they are not going to be direct rivals – measuring in at different sizes.
This ongoing project first came to light in 2012, when the companies announced that they were to be collaborating on a joint sports car which would replace BMW's existing Z4 coupe-convertible and revive Toyota's Supra badge. Details are still thin on the ground, however, BMW confirmed late last year that its new model had successfully passed through a technical feasibility study to enter the "concept phase", reports Autocar.
Talking at the Geneva motor show, Toyota Europe's vice-president and product planning boss Kart Schlicht stated: "The intention with the new car is for it to sit above the GT86. It doesn't replace that model; the GT86 goes on with its own mission."
This strategy would make the new Supra a flagship sports car model for the Japanese brand and indicates that the forthcoming car will allow for significantly higher pricing than the current GT86 (which starts at £22,495), which facilitates the inclusion of sophisticated hybrid technology.
The new models are likely to use a BMW petrol engine and electric motors, which store energy in supercapacitors. It is thought that the new models will also make use of lightweight carbon fibre in their construction - taking a leaf out of the BMW i3 and i8's book - ensuring strong performance and eco-credentials. Toyota and BMW are now debating where to build these new models, with a factory in the USA or Europe currently being considered.