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Slowly but Surely: BMW-Toyota Sports Car Inching Closer to Reality

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 11/9/2014 Kelly Pleskot

The partnership between BMW and Toyota to co-parent a new sports car is beginning to move ahead, with recent reports suggesting the two automakers have made it to the concept stage.

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BMW confirmed that it has completed a technical feasibility study for the new sports cars. In a statement to Bloomberg, the German giant said that the project "is running according to plan" and has "moved on to the concept phase."

Admittedly, the timeline for this entire project is a bit fuzzy. The BMW-Toyota sports car was originally set to close the chapter on the feasibility stage by the end of 2013. When we spoke to sources close to Toyota in May of that year, the two companies had already conducted feasibility studies, and development was supposed to be underway. Both companies have been reluctant to give a target arrival date for the jointly developed sports car. Toyota FT 1 Concept Side View On Road© Provided by MotorTrend Toyota FT 1 Concept Side View On Road

Co-developing sports cars is a major part of a long-term partnership between Toyota and BMW that is expected to last until at least 2020. Both automakers began working together in late 2011 to develop green technology, but their new collaboration increases the ties between the two companies. Together, two new sports cars will emerge, including a next-generation BMW Z4 with tons of carbon fiber and a hybrid powertrain, and a Toyota sports car that could bear the storied Supra name. A Toyota insider confirmed to us that the FT-1 concept that bowed earlier this year in Detroit previews the next Z4. We'll have to wait and see how BMW's design language transfers to the FT-1, but however it ends up looking, expect the Toyota version to look much tamer than its BMW sibling. Toyota FT 1 Concept Trunk Detail View© Provided by MotorTrend Toyota FT 1 Concept Trunk Detail View

Toyota will benefit from BMW's expertise with sports cars, but the German automaker also has a lot to gain from this partnership. Along with co-developing sports cars, both automakers will continue their efforts to produce more efficient powertrains, an area where Toyota has plenty of expertise. Toyota and BMW are jointly researching fuel cells, light weight technologies, and advanced lithium-air batteries that provide greater energy density than current lithium-ion units.

Source: Bloomberg

Toyota FT 1 Concept Rear Three Quarters View 2© Provided by MotorTrend Toyota FT 1 Concept Rear Three Quarters View 2
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