In 2012, BMW and Toyota corporations announced a new partnership to expand their existing cooperation on EV battery R&D. The joint efforts will also include a future cooperation on fuel cells, powertrain electrification, CFRP production, and BMW-Toyota Sports Car.
First rumors mentioned a possible successor to the popular Supra model. But MotorTrend joins the rumormill today with new information around a stand-alone coupe that will be positioned differently than the Z4 or even the i8 hybrids sportscar. A source close to Toyota told MotorTrend that by the time of the official announcement in January, the two companies had already conducted feasibility studies and development was well underway.
Apparently the green-light came directly from Toyota boss Akio Toyoda, the same exec responsible for green-lighting the Lexus LFA and Toyota GT86. Tada is said to have already visited BMW multiple times in the past year or so.
“I am hoping for a synergy effect with BMW that will result in a product that none of us could have imagined; something more than anyone expects. I would like that to be something like a sports car,” Tada said in the interview. “I would even go so far as to say that for the collaboration to work we have to bring a product which exceeds all these expectations.”
So where is the hybrid’s power going to come from? The rumormill mentions that naturally aspirated, supercharged, and turbocharged versions are reportedly being considered paired with electric motors. A source tells the same magazine Toyota has been working on an all-wheel-drive GT86 equipped with front in-wheel motors and that this setup could make it into the new BMW-Toyota sports car. Additionally, the source says that BMW and Toyota products will have significantly different sheetmetal, unlike the 86/FR-S/BRZ.
The BMW-Toyota concept car is expected to be shown later this year at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show.[Source: MotorTrend]