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BMW And Toyota Sports Car Details Surface Online: Report Photo:
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2014 Toyota FT-1 Concept - Detroit Photo:
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Mike Stevens | Mar, 11 2014 | 4 Comments

Plans for a jointly developed BMW and Toyota sports platform were first revealed early last year, but further details have been thin on the ground.

In December, the pair confirmed that an agreement for the new sports architecture had at last been reached, following a Memorandum of Understanding announced earlier in the year.

Reports in the months since have included the securing once again of the iconic Supra trademark, and January’s FT-1 concept unveiling offered what many believe could be a first look at Toyota’s half of the project.

Now, a new report with German website Auto Zeitung may have shed new light on the project, while adding to the growing speculation that the FT-1 is an early preview of the new model.

But if the report is to be believed, the new model will be significantly shorter than the red-hot concept, cutting 200mm from the show car’s overall length.

It’s not clear where that reduction will be found, but with the FT-1’s relatively short overhangs and long wheelbase, it will likely be the latter that is cut down before production.

The report adds that the new sports car will boast a 50:50 weight distribution - compared to 53:47 in the small Toyota 86.

As expected, the coupe will reportedly also feature a front-engined rear-wheel-drive layout.

Engine options across the project are reported to include a 160kW 2.0 litre four-cylinder engine, along with a larger 235kW six-cylinder and a top-shelf 294kW turbo 3.0 litre six.

With both brands now also heavily invested in hybrid and electric powertrains, it is possible that we could see a greener approach to the new performer - although BMW will be hesitant to position the new model too closely to its already green i8 coupe.

BMW’s experience with advanced carbon-fibre use in the i3 and i8 cars will also be put to use with the new sports platform.

A production debut for the new pair is expected to occur in 2017, likely with one appearing in Europe and the other in Japan or the US.

 
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