Toyota and BMW have been working on three sports cars for years now. The two companies have been tight-lipped about details but the two companies say their partnership will last until at least 2020. In addition to the sports car, Toyota and the world’s biggest maker of luxury vehicles are cooperating on research into fuel cells, lightweight technology and lithium-air batteries. The two companies agreed to work together on lithium-ion batteries in 2012.
Now Toyota execs came out saying that the two companies will decide by year-end the future of the sports car.
Speaking on the sidelines of the Frankfurt auto show on Wednesday, Johan van Zyl, head of Toyota’s European operations, said all three projects were progressing well.
“They are all on schedule and on track,” van Zyl said to Automotive News. A spokesman for the company added that a decision on the sports car, which would spawn separate vehicles for each brand, would be made in the near term.
“By the end of the year we will approve whether or not we will make it,” the spokesman said. “The whole study before that, on what kind of platform, on what kind of architecture, that’s been progressing quite well. We haven’t yet decided to give the green light to the project, but it’s coming up.”
Toyota and BMW outlined plans for the sports car in early 2013 and said in November 2014 that they’d reached the concept phase for the vehicle after completing a technical feasibility study. The manufacturers have declined to specify where the model might be built or when production would start. Sources say the car in question for BMW would be a Z4 replacement, and will most likely use a turbocharged four-cylinder engine.
However, no details have been given about actual development or specs. Toyota is rumored to work on a Supra successor with an engine developed by BMW; a turbocharged inline-six.