According to Reuters – citing a Toyota executive – BMW and the Japanese automaker are still keen to develop a common sportscar architecture but have yet to decide on a timeline for the project. BMW and Toyota have been tight-lipped about details but the two companies said in the past their partnership will last until at least 2020. 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 two companies have already been collaborating on fuel cell technology, lightweight components and hybrid systems.
“On both sides we have strong motivation to make it successful, we want to make the car,” Toyota executive vice president Didier Leroy said. “We know exactly which kind of body we want to do, we know exactly which kind of powertrain we want to use … now we just have to decide by when we want to start this car.”
Our BMW sources say the car in question for the Bavarians would be a Z4 replacement, and will most likely use a turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Its design will see some cues from the BMW 328 Hommage and Vision ConnectedDrive, so expect a classic, yet futuristic design that will steal the show.
Originally devised as a hardtop roadster as the previous Z4, the Bavarians have decided that the BMW Z5 should be offered in two body styles – a roadster with a canvas roof and a coupe, like the old Z3 coupe.
The first to arrive will be the Z5 Roadster, which is expected to be presented in the second half of 2017. A year later, the Z5 Coupe will be introduced as well.