New Information About The Next Toyota Supra and BMW Z4

More details emerge about the powertrain and a release date for the next Toyota Supra and BMW Z4

We have long known that BMW and Toyota were collaborating on a joint venture sports car project. New information has become available as a result of trademark applications submitted in Europe and the United States by Toyota laying claim to the Supra name.

The upcoming Toyota Supra is inspired by the incredible Toyota FT-1 super car concept unveiled at the 2014 Detroit Motor Show. It will be sharing a hybrid powertrain and chassis with the next BMW Z4 sports car.

The collaborative venture between Toyota and BMW has been in place since 2011 when both companies agreed to share hydrogen fuel cell and battery technology as well as the sports car platform currently in development.

On the surface, the BMW Z4 and Toyota will look very different but underneath, they will share the same mechanicals. However, the Supra will be built upon an extended joint venture platform that will enable Toyota to position the vehicle just above the GT86 in the Toyota line-up.

It is expected that the BMW will be providing the gasoline powered engine driving the rear wheels. Toyota hybrid electric motors will be powering the front wheels.

A model for the running gear of the joint venture platform can perhaps be found in the TS050 Hybrid Le Mans racecar. The racer uses electric motors on the front and rear axles with a gasoline powered engine powering the rear wheels. Electric power is provided from regenerative braking and stored in a lithium-ion battery. This arrangement would allow Toyota and BMW to offer plug-in options of their vehicles.

To apply a sporting character to its hybrid technology, Toyota will implement its first ever dual-clutch transmission. It will replace Toyota’s CVT transmissions currently found in Toyota and Lexus hybrid vehicles.

BMW, known for their weight saving methods in addition to designing the engines in-house point to Toyota having a particular target weight in mind for the vehicle.   Initial reports indicate this target weight to be less than 1,400 kilograms or 3,086 pounds. Because of its smaller size, the BMW is expected to be the lighter of the two vehicles.

Both the Toyota Supra and BMW Z4 are expected to debut within a few months of one another, but not until sometime in 2017 at the earliest.

Credit:  AutoExpress


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