The announcement of the BMW-Toyota partnership has been as perplexing as it is exciting. Nothing solid has come of the deal yet, but it's supplied the world with scores of crazy rumors. But a new report in Nikkei Asia Review may be the most solid one yet. It also heralds the return of the Toyota Supra.
The Nikkei reported today that Toyota and BMW are working on a new sports car platform. We knew that, but it's the details that matter: this platform will underpin the next BMW Z4 and a revival of the Toyota Supra. The two cars could go on sale as early as 2017.
Unlike the deal with Subaru and Toyota that resulted in the FR-S/GT86/BRZ, these two cars will have different bodies, the newspaper says. (No word on what they'll look like — perhaps they'll take cues from the Toyota FT-1 concept above.) The Supra's "strong fan base" sparked the reason for the new one, it says.
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The Supra name could come back. That's a huge deal. Frankly, Toyota is stupid not to bring it back. There's a ton of equity in that name, especially among people who grew up in the 1990s and lusted after them back then. It means a lot to buyers from that generation, myself included.
Unfortunately, the report goes into no further detail about what the new cars will be like. Still, the fact that the Supra and Z4 will be joined at the hip — if that is correct, of course — should allow us to dismiss a lot of rumors about mid-engined cars, expensive halo cars, cheap sports cars, or a Toyobaru replacement.
The current Z4 starts at about $50,000 and has both four- and inline six-cylinder power and, of course, rear-wheel drive. All of that sounds pretty appropriate for a new Supra to me. Let's hope it holds true.