Toyota, BMW To Make Final Decision On Sports Car Project By Year's End

Sep 18, 2015 12:39 PM EDT | John Nassivera


Toyota and BMW customers will only have to wait until the end of this year to hear their decision on whether they will develop a new sports car platform, executives revealed Wednesday.

The project started back in 2012 when the two automakers started a partnership in which they would share technology related to hydrogen fuel cells and lightweight components, according to Digital Trends.

However, it would be three years before either company would reveal when they would start production for the project, as Toyota and BMW have only reportedly studied designs for the platform. The project is expected to center around a front-engined, rear-wheel drive sports car.

Johan van Zyl, head of Toyota's European operations, said at the Frankfurt Auto Show that progress is moving along with the companies' projects, Reuters reported.

"They are all on schedule and on track," van Zyl said.

Friedrich Elchiner, chief financial officer at BMW, said Tuesday that the automaker and Toyota were in discussions about doing more work together, but he didn't provide any details on such collaborations. Van Zyl declined to comment on the situation.

A Toyota spokeman also discussed the sports car platform, saying that a decision for the project will be made in the near future and that it would result in the creation of separate cars for each brand, Reuters reported.

"By the end of the year we will approve whether or not we will make it," the spokesman said. "The whole study before that, on what kind of platform, on what kind of architecture, that's been progressing quite well. We haven't yet decided to give the green light to the project, but it's coming up."

The sports car platform has already been subject to speculation, according to Digital Trends, with some believing that it will give birth to a new version of the Toyota Supra with a FT-1-inspired styling, while others thinking it will be a replacement for BMW's Z4.

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