We just recently found out that Toyota will be making the final decision on the joint sports car venture between the Japanese brand and BMW later this year. We’ve all been waiting anxiously for some concrete evidence of such a car, but it appears that Toyota has been getting cold feet. Hopefully Toyota and BMW are a full-go by year’s end and we get some cool new cars in the market. But if not, I hear BMW will be working on a sports car with another company that’s pretty good at making performance cars.
BMW M has recently announced its partnership with McLaren to build a new supercar with a carbon fiber chassis and a quad-turbo, BMW-developed, mid-mounted V8. If that doesn’t get your blood pumping, I’m not sure what will. But it’s good to know that if the BMW/Toyota partnership doesn’t pan out that BMW will be working on something equally, or even more, exciting.
But which one will be more important to BMW, really? Obviously, the enthusiast in us all would say the McLaren co-venture, because who doesn’t want basically a new version of the McLaren F1? But would that really be more beneficial to BMW, and its followers, than the venture with Toyota?
A BMW/Toyota sports car would be tremendous for both BMW and its fanbase, as it would allow BMW to sell the car for less that it would have if it developed the car on its own. This allows enthusiasts to get a BMW sports car for relatively little money. A McLaren/BMW supercar will only be produced in triple-digit numbers each year and be extremely expensive. So in the real world, it would do much for BMW or its fans. Knowing it exists, and maybe even seeing one on the road, would make enthusiasts happy, but that’s about the extent of it. Such a supercar might bring BMW’s brand reputation up and get more bodies into showrooms, much like the LFA did for Lexus, but I’m not sure BMW actually has an issue with brand image, in terms of performance, like Lexus does.
A joint sports car with Toyota would actually probably help BMW more so than one with McLaren, but it seems like it might not happen anymore and the McLaren/BMW supercar does excite far more. So which joint venture would you like to see BMW follow through with if one were to collapse?