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Toyota-BMW Supercar Project Could Take Compelling Twist According To New Report

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On: Thu, Sep 24, 2015 at 9:58AM | By: Carl Malek

Toyota-BMW Supercar Project Could Take Compelling Twist According To New Report

The rumored Toyota-BMW sports car project has taken many twists and turns during the past few months, but, if a new report out of Australia is to be believed, a new twist could be in store for the project that could very well elevate it to supercar levels of performance in what could be a bold offensive aimed at rivals such as the Audi R8 and the Acura NSX.

Prior to the unearthing of this new report, recent speculation regarding the project focused on the strong possibility of the vehicle being equipped with a turbocharged straight-six engine and a possible hybrid all-wheel drive system. The car would also be badged as a resurrected Supra on the Toyota side, and a Z-badged car (possibly Z4) on BMW's end. However, if the report from the publication Australia Motoring is to believed, BMW is currently very happy with the progress of the project and that the collaboration could spawn a separate second model with even more horsepower and the choice of two different engines.

This new report goes completely against a separate report filed by Reuters that claims the collaboration is still in the embryonic stages with Toyota not formally deciding whether to even join BMW in the effort or not. According to the Australian report, the new model would share a mid-engined platform that would feature all-wheel drive. The BMW version, however, would go two steps further and feature a twin-turbocharged inline six that would be borrowed from its M Performance division with Toyota supplying the plug-in hybrid system. Speaking of Toyota, it is rumored to be going in a slightly different direction with the Japanese firm testing a 520 horsepower 3.7-liter V8. This particular V8 is a direct descendant of the power plant found in the TS040 Le Mans race car. Adding the hybrid system would increase output to about 800 horsepower but it should be viewed more as a concession to maximum fuel efficiency, tougher emissions standards, and issues with production of the engine as a whole. Otherwise, the V8, as it is, without the hybrid system, would easily be capable of surpassing 1,000 horsepower, a figure that would put the car in a very elite club of contenders.

With all of this performance potential, it is only natural for it to be badged as a Lexus, where it would be viewed as a direct successor to the LFA supercar versus an out of place anomaly in Toyota's volume-oriented lineup. It will be interesting to see if the car can achieve better sales than the LFA which experienced sluggish sales, thanks to a modest marketing campaign and several Lexus-related moves at making it exclusive. However, all of this will depend on whether the car is even produced with initial rumors suggesting that both cars would make an appearance sometime before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, though that date, like everything elsewith this project, is still presently up in the air.


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