BMW AG and Toyota Motor Corporation have announced their collaboration on a future sports car project.
While the announcement may come as a surprise to many, it in fact follows a series of talks between the two manufacturers that have taken place since December 2011, which include agreements on sharing hybrid systems, diesel engines, as well as the development of next-generation lithium-ion battery cells.
Last week, BMW and Toyota took things a step further with an announcement stating they would focus on, “long-term strategic collaboration in four fields: joint development of a fuel cell system, joint development of architecture and components for a future sports vehicle, collaboration on powertrain electrification and joint research and development on light-weight technologies.”
The sports car part of the agreement is only one small piece of the puzzle, about which BMW and Toyota have offered no information at this stage. In the meantime, the two companies have ignited burning questions, such as: is Toyota going to revive the Supra nameplate? Is BMW going to make a 21st century M1? Could it be mid-engined? Is BMW packing its engineering department full of technology for future i-brand sports cars – like the i8 Spyder? We’ll let you know the answers as soon as more details become available.