The announcement earlier this year that BMW and Toyota would be teaming up to produce a sports car took many by surprise. Toyota needs help building its performance portfolio, but what does BMW get out of this partnership?
Taking a closer look at the BMW-Toyota lineup that began in 2011, the relationship begins to make more sense, especially as these types of partnerships become more common in the industry. “Toyota is strong in environment-friendly hybrids and fuel cells. I believe BMW’s strength is developing sports cars. I get so excited thinking about the cars that will result from this relationship,” said Akio Toyoda, Toyota boss, this January.
By the time the announcement was made, the two automakers were already conducting studies for a concept sports car, and development was also underway. Enthusiasts are eager to see what the new BMW-Toyota sports car is going to look like, and this partnership could also signal the return of the Supra. The engineer in charge of the Toyota GT86/Scion FR-S, Tetsuya Tada, will be heading up the new coupe project.
“I am hoping for a synergy effect with BMW that will result in a product that none of us could have imagines; something more than anyone expects. I would like that to be something like a sports car. 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,” said Tada when talking about the partnership.
The BMW-Toyota concept sports car will most likely feature an four-cylinder engine, either from BMW or Toyota, and a stretched platform that would fall under BMW’s care. The concept will most likely pair electric motors, and the body will be significantly different from what we’ve seen from Toyota previously. The concept is expected to debut at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show and enter production in under two years.
Source: Motor Trend