A new jointly developed sports car platform by BMW and Toyota has moved toward the concept stages, “and is running according to plan”.
Speaking with business paper Bloomberg, a BMW spokesperson confirmed the news, which follows a December announcement of a study into the feasibility of a performance-focused partnership.
With that study now “successfully completed”, the Japanese and German carmakers will begin work on the new platform that will eventually underpin sports models for both brands.
Both models are expected to launch as hardtop coupes, which, while expected for the Supra, will be the first BMW Z car to launch exclusively as a coupe.
Toyota’s last Supra had been offered in both fixed hardtop and targa-top convertible forms, but the Z4 has not seen a proper coupe option since the M version of the previous generation.
Reports also suggest that the so-called Z5 will be offered in turbocharged four-cylinder form only, with outputs varying from 140 to 200kW.
We could also see a more powerful hybrid version, although BMW will be mindful of pushing into the i8 plug-in hybrid coupe’s territory.
Toyota is keeping quiet on plans for its own version of the new platform, although we might see the recent FT-1 concept morph into a production ‘Mk5’ Supra.
As a key point of difference, Toyota is expected to use its own powerplant for the new coupe, which could mean that the new Lexus NX SUV’s turbocharged 2.0 litre will be pressed into duty.
And, given Toyota’s proclivity for delivering hybrid versions of just about every model it offers, we could see a performance version of its petrol-electric system. For that model, outputs beyond 300kW could be on the cards.
Watch for details of the new sports cars as the concept development progresses toward a motor-show unveiling in the next year or two.
Pictured top of article: BMW coupe rendering via BMWBlog.com.
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