Toyota FT-1 conceptEnlarge Photo
In late 2011, BMW and Toyota signed a memorandum of understanding for collaboration between the two on a number of projects, one of which was the development of a “midsize sports car platform.” For BMW the new platform is expected to spawn a replacement for the Z4, while for Toyota it’s expected to spawn a new Supra.
The first stage of the project was a feasibility study that the automakers said would last until the end of 2013. In a statement BMW made to Bloomberg this week, the automaker said the project has since progressed to the second stage, which is a “concept phase.” The automaker also said the project remains on schedule.
It’s likely this concept phase has been running for some time as we’ve already seen Toyota roll out a trio of FT-1 sports car concepts, two real and one virtual. BMW hasn’t revealed any plans for its sports car, but the automaker’s latest comments suggest we could see a concept in the near future.
As for the eventual production versions, they’re expected to be revealed before 2017. The new Supra is currently expected to feature an all-wheel-drive hybrid setup. The BMW, which some suggest may be called a Z5 to reflect its higher positioning than the current Z4, is thought to stick with conventional powertrains and rear-wheel drive.