Toyota has partnered with BMW on the next generation of its supercar, the Toyota Supra, which will be unveiled in 2018. BMW is also working on its own supercar, the Z5, which will have many parts in common with the joint Toyota Supra, some of which include the carbon fiber composite technology seen in BMW’s now-iconic i3.
BMW and Toyota have been jointly working on the models since 2012, but have now begun to move development off in their own directions. According to Autocar, BMW has been spotted testing its convertible Z5 on the road and Toyota is said to be at a similar stage of development.
“The one thing we’re clear on now is that a platform for both companies can work,” BMW’s sales and marketing head Ian Robertson told Autocar. “The cars in themselves don’t actually need to be positioned the same. The platform can spawn two positionings.” He added, “The concept works, the platform can deliver and now we have two proud sets of engineers – one group German, one group Japanese – who are each fighting and arguing for the car they want.”
For Toyota, the 2018 Supra will be the OEMs first model of the supercar sold since 2002. For BMW, the Z5 replaces its widely-publicized Z4. All of BMW’s Z models incorporate structural pillars and roof structures made with CFRP.
However, while the materials themselves have been decided, Robertson notes there are still some production logistics to work out.
“One part of the next phase will be deciding who builds the car – which company and in which country,” Robertson said. “We need to find out where the markets are and whether the biggest markets are the same for both companies.”