Mar 23, 2015

The Toyota 'SUPRA' & BMW 'Z4' joint development

After 13 years of waiting. The Supra is coming back!

Toyota SUPRA  01

In 2012, BMW and Toyota started talking about a possible partnership, a collaboration that will bring a new sports car and new hybrid technologies for both companies.
There were no updates regarding the project since its announcement 3 years ago.. Until now, BMW admitted the project is on-going,  technical preliminary survey stage was successfully completed last year and now enters "concept phase".

Unlike the GT86-BRZ joint project of Toyota and Subaru, it seems that each manufacturer will be producing 2 different models on 1 project.  The come back of the Supra for Toyota and the 3rd Generation Z4 for BMW.

At the Venue of the Geneva Motor Show, Karl Schlicht Toyota Europe's Vice president & Head of Market planning Division announced that the on-going project car is not a new generation 86 rather it is a model that will be positioned above the GT86. He also added "The GT86 has its own mission as a GT86"

Compared to the GT86 , the new model will be much more expensive, they're planning to install a high-tech powertrain for the car.

Last year AUTOCAR said the the 2 models to be made will both be 4WD hybrids with BMW's gasoline engine and electric motor  technology. Like the BMW i3 and i8's body,  BMW will also implement its carbon-fiber technology on the 2 models.

Recently Toyota introduced its concept car the FT-1 ,  The Toyota supra's  production was seized in 2002 , coincidence or not the FT-1 shares the same body length with the last generation Supra but is clearly a lot bigger than an BMW Z4.

"We will be targeting each market if possible since both models will be  two different cars" said by BMW's Board of Directors Sales & Marketing Officer Ian Robertson.  He even added "One things for sure, and both cars doesn't need to be in the same position. Even if the car shares the same platform its still possible to come up with completely 2 different cars,  Usually cars that shares the same platform will eventually share the same wheel base, but that's a thing of the past. Our developed platform is capable of having separate wheel bases,  Now Our Japanese and German Engineers are fighting their way everyday to build the car they want,".

Though both cars were proposed to be build in the same factory , to where the production should take place is not been decided yet although rather than producing the car in Japans factory there are more voices  considering the United States or Europe's factory instead. "We need to know where the  market is and if both cars should or should not be on the same market? " said Ian Robertson.

As of now Lexus have nothing to do with the Toyota-BMW collaboration project  but can we expect one in the near future?

Lexus Europe representative Alan Witten Houben said "Toyota and Lexus are " Neighbors ", and both Lexus and Toyota works for the same boss Akio Toyoda. At the moment there are no plans to build a platform between BMW and Lexus,  But should Lexus take part to such project, all of that depends on Toyota. ".

Toyota SUPRA 02

BMW Z4 01

BMW Z4 02

Toyota SUPRA 03

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