Fun and Fast Toyotas, Courtesy of BMW

January 3rd, 2014

Toyota-BMW-Sports-car-partnership-picture

No news is not really news.

Some media outlets and blogs are having fun with a variation of this headline: “BMW and Toyota finally agree on sports car platform amidst joint ventures.”

That sounds exciting, doesn’t it? Some might even say it’s enticing and worth clicking through to read the article and find out what platform they chose and what car might ride upon said platform.

It turns out, as of this writing, the information in that headline is all anyone really knows. Reading the article only restates the headline and the fact that the two companies have in fact agreed on a platform for some kind of new sports car.

I admit, that’s exciting, but I fail to see how it constitutes a news item on its own. Tell me Toyota and BMW have decided on a platform that is expected to be the basis for a 400-hp rear-wheel-drive coupe that produces BMW handling for a Toyota price, and we have a story. Speculation on this partnership includes the conjecture that the resulting car will be a modern Toyota Supra. Pretty cool, right?

I have this sinking feeling, though, that BMW and Toyota will ruin it via electrification. Both companies are scratching the hybrid/electric itch hard, and it’s very likely a partnership will go down that path.

Speculation really doesn’t do anyone any good. While it’s certainly worth keeping an eye out for any real developments, let’s focus on the facts. We know partnerships can be a good thing, as evidenced by the Toyota/Subaru mashup. We know Toyota is starting to inject some serious fun into its lineup, and we know BMW is a master of luxury and performance. Any combination of those things will be wonderful.

If Toyota gets a new Supra out of this deal, what will BMW get? I don’t foresee a BMW-branded car here, but I do think the benefits to the Bavarians will be behind the scenes. With a co-developed platform and a supplier deal in place, both companies could come out as big winners here.

More importantly, so could fans of fun, fast Toyotas. Check out this quote from Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda,

Toyota is strong in environment-friendly hybrids and fuel cells … I believe BMW’s strength is developing sports cars. I get so excited thinking about the cars that will result from this relationship.

Yup. Cars. Plural.

Here we go….

Would you be interested in a new Toyota Supra co-developed with BMW?

-tgriffith

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  1. Randy
    January 3rd, 2014 at 14:12 | #1

    I’m not sure electrics will advance much over the next decade. Face it, the opening of North American shale oil reserves has been a real shot to the head of the Middle Eastern oil cartels, and I don’t see gas prices going anywhere outside the new norm, which is $3-$4. Get the government involved in giving some hard choices to the oil industry to either stop playing games with refining capacity or face the prospect of large government-owned refineries, and gas prices might even come back down into the $2-$3 range. Also, don’t forget natural gas alternatives coupled with fuel cells or LNG. We’ve got a huge reserve of natural gas, too. Why pay $70,000 plus for an electric with all the limitations and never come close to recouping the extra cost through fuel savings? Given the pollution footprint of batteries and intensive electronics, the modern SLEV vehicle looks even more attractive. Face it, there’s no known usable fuel with a higher energy density than gasoline, and that makes it an ideal vehicle fuel.

  1. January 14th, 2014 at 04:01 | #1