BMW and Toyota Join Forces
In early 2013, an announcement was released that BMW and Toyota would jointly develop a midsize sports car. This partnership was originated by the two companies in late 2011 and will also include combined development of diesel, fuel cell and the most current lithium battery and hybrid technology. Imagine, a BMW Prius!
This is a very exciting venture given the currently empty sports car slot with Toyota that had been vacant since the Supra and the possibility of a standalone coupe position for BMW, which would be different than the 4-Series and the soon-to-be-launched i8 plug-in hybrid sports car.
The same man that gave the go-ahead on the project is the same person who spear headed the Lexus LFA and Toyota GT86/Scion FR-5, Toyota’s head, Akio Toyoda.
The lead engineer of the project is Tetsuya Tada, who was also head engineer for the GT86/FR-5. It has been documented that Tada has visited BMW numerous times in the past year. It is speculated that the BMW-Toyota sports-car would be propelled by a BMW-sourced inline-four engine and would be housed on a stretched GT86/FR-S/BRZ platform, which will be altered by BMW.
The two automakers are considering naturally aspirated, supercharged and turbocharged car, but atmospheric induction is the likely route because it will likely be paired with electric motors.
It has also been reported to Motor Trend that Toyota has been tinkering with an all-wheel drive GT86 with front in-wheel motors, a combination that could been seen on the new BMW-Toyota sports car. In contrast to the GT86/FR-S/BRZ plan, the BMW and Toyota products will have considerably dissimilar bodies. A concept car is expected to be debuted at the Tokyo Motor Show later this year.