BMW Z5 First Spyshots: Why BMW Plans to Reinvent the Sportscar with Toyota

BMW Z5 First Spyshots 8 photos
Photo: SB-Medien
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We've been discussing the collaboration between BMW and Toyota for a few years now and yet this is the first time their sportscar file gets photographic proof.
Tentatively dubbed Z5, the Bavarian incarnation of the upcoming sportscar duo will be the first to hit the market. While the overall proportions don't seem too far from those of the Z4, the prototype was covered in heavy camouflage, hiding all of its details.

And while the soft top is a clear message (the Z4 used a metallic roof, remember?), we wouldn't bet on what we see here as being the final design. Not when the test vehicle doesn't feature a rear window.

Reinventing the sportscar

These are big words we're using, but they're necessary. Last time Toyota came up with a sportscar, it joined forces with Subaru, walked a beaten path and came up with a brilliant pure driving instrument, but one that isn't viable as a commercial proposal.

This time around, BMW and Toyota are forced to follow a set of rules that don't exist. Nobody really knows what's going on with the sportscar market these days.

Sure, there are the traditional recipes, such as the Porsche or the Miata ones, but those outside the cast are having a hard time figuring out what the overly-conscious modern sportscar consumer wants.

The frenzy going on in the supercar and the hypercar world isn't an indicator by any means - this middle go-fast class we're talking about here is obviously more affected by the increasing eco and value-for-money pressure.

So while a two-liter turbo is a certainty, the question to be asked in the powertrain department is whether we should also expect a straight six or not. Will Toyota, which has supplied the electric motor for the i3 (rumor confirmed by an insider) insert its EV expertise and come up with a sporty hybrid? Too early to tell.

Individuality is not an issue

While BMW and Toyota might have a shadowy drawing board on their hands, one thing we're not worried about is the individuality of the resulting models.

Modern industry standards have taught us they can do wonders in terms of compensation for platform sharing, and since we're talking about two independent carmakers here, we have great expectations in this field.

As for a possible time frame, BMW might come up with the Z5 late next year, so you should keep an eye on their future concepts.
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About the author: Andrei Tutu
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In his quest to bring you the most impressive automotive creations, Andrei relies on learning as a superpower. There's quite a bit of room in the garage that is this aficionado's heart, so factory-condition classics and widebody contraptions with turbos poking through the hood can peacefully coexist.
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