In 2013, Japanese car manufacturer Toyota and German automaker BMW joined forces to work on a new sports car project as well as a new fuel cell system. The latter focused on the development of hydrogen fuel cell technology emphasizing on hydrogen tanks, fuel cell stacks, motors and batteries as well as infrastructure that will aide in the manufacturing process of hydrogen-powered cars. The said technology is aimed to be developed by 2020, by which hydrogen-fuelled cars may be made available to the public.
Moreover, the two automakers work hand in hand to develop lightweight technologies (focusing on reinforcement of composites and carbon fiber materials) and the extensive research on next-generation lithium-based batteries. All these technologies will be used for the new sports car project as well as for their own models.
Now in 2014, Toyota was reported to have filed a new trademark application to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for its famed “Supra” moniker. The trademark covered all Toyota Supra vehicles including its structural parts. The iconic moniker was faced out in 2002, thus news of the new patent plus its partnership with BMW even strengthened speculations that the Japanese automaker is up to something in the near future.
On the 3rd of June of this year, another patent for the “Supra” moniker was filed by Toyota. After more than two years since it has been registered in the U.S., “Supra” was filed for trademark at the European Union Intellectual Property Office. This and all the activities that Toyota and BMW was been involved with in the past few years have finally come to light. Well, sort of.
When Toyota and BMW joined forces for a new sports car, the world was on its toes. Now, we have been given a few hints on these upcoming creations.
BMW’s version, which will more likely be called “Z5”, will replace the Z4 which has been around for quite some time. There are “spy images” that have been circulating showing a fabric-roofed BMW but this is a subject for debate as there are also rumors that the Z5 will come as a coupe. Another thing is that the said new model will come with a standard rear-wheel drive layout and will come with an optional xDrive setup.
Toyota’s model is believed to be a resurrected fifth generation “Supra” that will likely have a design influenced by the FT-1 concept unveiled two years ago at the Detroit Motor Show. The vehicle will most likely sport a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and a hybridized 2.5-liter V6 turbo; and will most likely cough out more than 402 horsepower.
Both cars are expected to be revealed in the second half of 2017 or may even arrive sooner. It is also whispered that the cars (both from Toyota and BMW) will be manufactured by Magna Steyr in their factory in Graz, Austria by 2018. Technically, both cars will be made from the same platform – using BMW engines but with a Toyota powertrain for its hybrid derivative – but will vary with its exterior and interior designs. A total of 60,000 units are projected to be sold per annum for both cars.
We’re hopeful that these creations could live up to its name, especially the Supra. Until then, we’ll have to wait for more hints and sneak peeks as to what Toyota and BMW is currently up to. Stay tuned!