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Toyota-BMW sportscar gains pace

Joining forces: The agreement to study the feasibility of a jointly developed sportscar signed in 2013 has finally been completed Toyota and BMW have confirmed, moving the project on to the concept phase. (Toyota FT-1 concept pictured)

BMW and Toyota have confirmed development of their sportscar has taken a big step

Toyota logo7 Nov 2014

By RICHARD BERRY

BMW and Toyota have taken a major step towards developing sportcars together with the German brand telling Bloomberg News that the technical feasibility study had been “successfully completed”.

Work on the underpinnings of the cars “has moved on to the concept phase and is running according to plan,” BMW told the publication.

Toyota has also confirmed the project has progressed beyond the feasibility study.

The mid-sized sportscars will share the same architecture, but Toyota and BMW are likely to use separate drivetrains and will style the vehicles according to their own design language. It is also believed the Japanese car-maker will sell its version as part of its Lexus luxury sub-brand.

It was in 2012 that the decision was made by the two companies to jointly develop a sportscar. At the announcement Toyota Motor Corporation president Akio Toyoda said the agreement was designed to produce better cars.

“We are not coming together to become bigger,” he said.

“We are not coming together to form capital ties. We are joining hands because we want to make ever-better cars.”

The agreement to study the feasibility of developing a vehicle was signed in 2013 and was initially expected to be finished by the end of that year.

Included was the co-operation of research into various technologies such as advanced lithium-air batteries, fuel cells and lightweight technology.

The car-makers have said the partnership will last until at least 2020.

Toyota’s most recent jointly developed sportscar is the 86 with Subaru selling its version as the BRZ.

Mazda too, will share its new-generation MX-5 platform with Fiat to underpin a new sportscar.

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