In late 2011, BMW and Toyota signed a memorandum of understanding for collaboration on a number of projects ranging from the development of a new sports car platform to research into next-generation battery technology and even hydrogen fuel cell powertrains. Of most interest to performance fans is the sports car platform, which was described as a mid-size design that leveraged the best technology and knowledge of each automaker.

At the time of the initial announcement, BMW and Toyota said they only planned to forge ahead with the development of the platform pending the successful result of a feasibility study, scheduled to conclude at the end of 2013. An official statement on the result is yet to be released but in an interview with German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (via Reuters), BMW development chief Herbert Diess revealed that an agreement has been made to develop the new sports car platform.

Diess also confirmed the platform would spawn a sports car for each automaker, and that each of these will be authentic to the brand it’s sold under. While BMW is confirmed to launch one of the sports cars, it’s not clear if the second will be sold under the Toyota brand or that of Lexus.

A recent report suggested Toyota would use the platform for a high-end coupe for Lexus, tipped to be a production version of the stunning LF-LC concept that could potentially serve as a successor to Lexus’ SC convertible and form a new halo model for the brand.

However, there is also speculation that the new platform would be used to develop a Supra-like model for Toyota and a next-generation Z4 for BMW. Toyota is expected to present a new sports car concept at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show next month, so we may not have to wait too long for more details on the project.


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