Latest Lexus, Toyota, BMW Sportscar Rumors Prove Everybody Knows Jack Squat

BMW Toyota project 1 photo
Photo: edited by autoevolution
“Billie boy, start up the rumormill again, we need to provide some circus for these guys here!” That’s how everyone comes now with crazy ideas about the project(s) BMW and Toyota are involved into. Well, if you look at all of them now, you can see that no one can really put a finger on what the duo are up to, besides coming up with a new car at some point.
The collaboration between Toyota and BMW started about two years ago. First, they were said to be working over new batteries for hybrid vehicle applications. After a while, they said to be also working on a “joint architecture for a sports car”.

And then everyone searched for their own “insiders” to find out more about the project. Things got mixed so badly, that you might think now that Toyota and BMW are working not on a single sportscar, but TWO! All happening with neither one of them being at least teased in some way by one of the automakers.

Indeed, at one point Toyota GT 86 chief engineer Tetsuya Tada said the sportscar he worked on needs a smaller and a bigger brother, in order for Toyota to really step back into sportscar territory. But that says nothing about the automaker needing BMW to build both of them.

When the Toyota FT-1 concept broke cover, everyone thought it’s the sportscar that will materialize with the help of the German automaker. It will materialize at some point because Toyota re-applied for the “Supra” trademark, but a BMW representative said their company had nothing to do with the concept.

True - it’s Toyota’s concept to preview future design for a front-engined sportscar and it was made entirely in California at the Calty studio. Conclusion? We will get a front-engined new Supra at some point, but whether it will be built with BMW or not, no one can truly say now.

Last summer, not even BMW was sure about what the new sportscar will be according to a report. And even if it is indeed working with Toyota over a new sportscar, the only two plausible possibilities are either a small Z2 or a larger supercar-ish mid-engined model. Simply because they already filled up every other niche segment in their lineup now.

The Z2 might be a win-win result for both BMW and Toyota simply because the recipe looks pretty plausible: both automakers needing a small funky and affordable sportster... check... new MINI underpinnings at hand to offer go-kart-like feeling and simplicity... check... the possibility of mounting an electric motor at the back to boost fun and also tick mark previous rumors about a hybrid... check that too, please!

In the opposite corner, CAR magazine said “Nope! Our insider said something better”. Their vision is that indeed, BMW and Toyota are working on a pair of smaller sportscars, but they will replace the Z4 and GT 86. And to top that, the automakers are now working on an even bigger project called “Silk Road 2”.

The Silk Road 2 will reportedly spawn a Z7 and a mid-engined baby Lexus LFA. Both will supposedly be powered by 3-liter twin-turbocharged six-cylinder engines paired with electric motors, throwing them straight into "Porsche Carrera territory".

Well, involving Lexus into the story really gives it a wrong twist here. You see, Toyota’s luxury brand already came up with the RC F, which they already started marketing as an LFA-performance-like sportscar, so a mid-engined one really makes no sense. Especially considering that none of their concept cars was configured this way.

The mid-engine hybrid beast is not suitable for Toyota’s plans neither; who the heck would buy one wearing the Supra badge? You can’t just ridicule an iconic sportscar like that. It’s like reviving the MR2, but with four doors and an engine up front.

In the end, all we can conclude is that the media got kinda confused with bits of information collected from here and there along with the two automakers’ responds leaving room for a lot of interpretation. It’s clear that BMW and Toyota are working on a sports vehicle, but the direction in which they’ll go remains to be a mystery until they really show us something official. Until then, rumors might go as far as saying a jointly developed SUV is on the way. It is a “sports utility vehicle” after all, right?
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