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Toyota BMW Partnership May Work On Supra Successor

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On: Thu, Jul 12, 2012 at 1:05PM | By: Chris Weiss

Toyota BMW Partnership May Work On Supra Successor

Last month, BMW and Toyota announced an expansion of their working relationship and mentioned that part of the agreement will include joint work on a sports car. The statement made the expanded relationship sound largely like a trade-off: Toyota's expertise in hybrid powertrains for BMW's expertise in sports cars. In a report that essentially puts itself together, the sports car in question may be the rumored Supra successor.

We've been hearing about a Supra successor for a while now. With Toyota known to be working with BMW on a sports car, it would make sense that that sports car be a mid-level/high-end coupe like the Supra. While Automotive News Europe doesn't know this for a fact, it cites a "BMW insider" in speculating that the sports car could indeed be a new Supra successor, possibly based on the new 6 Series architecture.

Of course, a team-up with a luxury automaker like BMW might make more sense for Toyota's own luxury brand Lexus. Indeed, the report cites the possibility of a Lexus sports car, perhaps a production version of the well-received LF-LC concept. The partnership may even include the sharing of plug-in hybrid technology from the upcoming i8, resulting in a Lexus plug-in that could cost between $125,000 and $140,000.

Whatever the Toyota car ends up being, it won't be identical to the BMW version. A BMW spokesperson told Auto News Europe that the two cars will not be near-identical like the Toyota GT 86 and Subaru BR-Z. Each vehicle will retain the characteristics of its parent brand while sharing some underpinning technologies. BMW's car will be a "sustainable sports car with environmentally friendly technology," so it sounds like another "i" branded offering, perhaps a less expensive plug-in hybrid to complement the flagship i8.

In May, we heard that the Supra successor could be a hybrid, similar in form and power to the Honda NSX. That rumor makes sense in light of BMW's statement and the nature of its partnership with Toyota.

The time frame for the “Bimota” remains as big a question mark as the car itself.


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