We've known for some time now that Toyota and BMW are teaming up for a high-tech new sports car, but now we're seeing a few very interesting rumors eke out into the German press. Namely they're reporting a new BMW, possibly called the Z5, could share a platform with a revived Toyota Supra. Say what?
German newspaper Focus.de, citing a report in Auto Bild that I am currently unable to find, says BMW and Toyota are working on a car that will be a successor to the slow-selling Z4 with somewhere between 211 and 367 horsepower and an optional hybrid engine.
The engine will be built by BMW, but where the cars will be built has yet to be determined, the newspaper says. They also say it will be a pure two-seat sports car with rear-wheel drive. And here's what they say about the hybrid components (pardon the Google Translate clunkiness):
"In addition, a hybrid eDrive is called, an integral part of the sports car development.Unlike current plug-in hybrids, the electric motor in the BMW-Toyota sports car is tuned for performance.The continuous power is 136 hp in the current situation, in the short-term power mode are 204 hp available, "writes the Journal.
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As always, you should take this news with a gulp of salt, but considering how long we've known about the BMW-Toyota partnership, I think we may be able to expect something concrete soon. I like the idea of BMW building the engine because that could mean the Supra (if that's what they call it, and I hope they do) will keep its famed inline-six setup.
A performance-oriented hybrid is probably a wise choice here too, considering the way things are going with cars at the top like LaFerrari and the McLaren P1. I'd love to see this Z5/Supra have more than 367 horsepower to make it a legit Nissan GT-R competitor, but we'll see what happens.
It's kind of interesting that if this Z5/Supra gets made it will be the second time in recent years Toyota has farmed out development of their sports cars to another company. After all, the Scion FR-S/Toyota GT86 was engineered and is built by Subaru.
Oh well. You can't argue with the end product, right?
Photo credit Alexander Imnadze/BMW Blog
Hat tip to BMW Blog!