BMW, Toyota deal may lead to revival of the Supra

Article by Anita Panait, on July 3, 2012

The recent agreement between BMW and Toyota to jointly develop a sports car could underpin the return of the Toyota Supra, a sports car model that the Japanese auto manufacturer abandoned in 2002. A BMW insider told Autoweek that the sports car joint development could provide the basis for the return of the Supra, possibly using the BMW 6-series architecture.

The Supra is an iconic sports car that has appeared in numerous video games and movies, gaining a name for its superb performance. The collaboration may also bear fruit to a sports model for Toyota's Lexus brand.

During the Detroit auto show in January, Lexus unveiled its LF-LC concept. If it gets a production version, it would have a price similar to a Porsche 911 Turbo, which has a tag of over $137,500. Toyota could employ BMW's expertise in suspension technology to give the concept a better driving feel and responsiveness.

According to Jim Hall, principal of 2953 Analytics Inc., Toyota could also employ the technology from BMW’s i8 plug-in hybrid sports car. If there is anything the Lexus needs and should get from the collaboration, the i8 technology should be it, Hall said, adding that the result would be an expensive car. BMW is expected to sell the i8 at around $125,000 when it rolls out the model in the first quarter of 2014.

BMW, meanwhile, stands to benefit from sharing the i8 technology with Toyota, helping the German carmaker spread the cost of the plug-in hybrid’s expensive components, according to Autonews. A senior BMW manager told Autoweek that the key factor of any resulting vehicle is that the products of both companies retain their own individual character, despite jointly developed technologies.

Toyota and BMW signed an agreement last week to jointly work on an "environmentally friendly" sports car, fuel-cell, electric vehicle components and lightweight materials. Toyota President Akio Toyoda said his company will benefit from BMW's strength in developing sports cars. A BMW spokeswoman said that the resulting sports cars will not be identical or share a common exterior design like the jointly developed Subaru BRZ, Toyota GT86 and Scion FR-S coupes.

The spokeswoman said that BMW's vehicle will be a sustainable sports car with environmentally friendly technology, adding that they are currently developing the architecture and components for the car.

Many have been waiting for the GT 86 and finally Toyota will be making the official European debut of this compact 2+2 sports car during the 2012 Geneva Motor Show. At its core, the GT 86 is driver oriented. Thus those who love to feel pure joy when it comes to driving will be more than happy to know that for the GT 86, there is an almost immediate and precise response to the smallest of steering inputs or throttle.

This new model from Toyota is geared for people who see driving more as a passion instead of a need. What makes the powertrain of the GT 86 different from the rear is that it manages to have a vehicle that comes with what could be the most compact design for a four-seat. It is made more appealing with its low center of gravity, a low inertia, and light weight.

The result is a car that has one of the best power-to-weight ratio in its class. Because of this, the GT 86 is able to offer a more accessible and lively performance while ensuring that its dynamic abilities can be immediately utilized with little or no electronic incursion. This model is highly engaging as well and delivers maximum driving pleasure.

Another reason is of course the decision of the brand not to use the large and heavy displacement powertrain and instead to focus on performance. Instead, it went back to its roots, and made use of the only free-revving, front-mounted, horizontally-opposed compact boxer petrol engine combined with a rear-wheel drive.

Customers may be excited to learn that the GT 86 uses a new platform; that’s why it has that highly aerodynamic bodyshell being stretched out tightly over the model’s engineering hard points. That the GT 86 is able to offer all of this is mainly because when it was created, the goal was to have a new car that had the same feel as that of classic sports cars.

In order to be able to satiate even the most discerning of customers, it took a team of engineers to design this new model which was then perfected through competition and fine-tuning. As such, the spirit of Toyota’s former sports cars is in the new GT 86, ensuring that drivers get to experience that pure driving fun. Sales of the new GT 86 from Toyota in Europe are expected to begin by the summer of 2012.

Topics: bmw, toyota, sports car

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