Nearly two years ago, German automaker BMW and Japanese giant Toyota announced a new technology alliance that would see the two companies collaborate on a series of projects. This could include a new six-figure, hybrid supercar that could revive one of Toyota’s long-dormant nameplates, such as Celica or Supra.
BMW and Toyota have expressed intense interest in several alternative-fuel projects, chief among them electric cars and hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles. While BMW arguably has the lead in pure-electric vehicles, Toyota has an alliance with Tesla Motors, a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle slated for production in 2015, and is also the undisputed hybrid car king.
With rumors of a hybrid sports car or supercar from Toyota circulating for some time, throwing BMW into the mix could inspire some interesting results. Right now the talk is of a BMW 4.4 liter twin-turbo V8 engine from the M5 or M6 mated to some jacked-up Toyota hybrid system, resulting in a very expensive but very powerful hybrid supercar aimed at the world’s financial elite.
This super-hybrid will replace the outgoing Lexus LFA, which could suggest a price tag well above a quarter-million dollars, and that wouldn’t surprise me in the least. There is big money up for grabs in the high-end car market these days, which helps fund the development of next-generation technology that (eventually) trickles down into everyday vehicles.
Personally, I’m hoping for a revival of the Supra name, but I’m just excited to see Toyota getting back into the performance car game. Between this and the 400-horsepower Yaris concept, Toyota has definitely caught my attention lately.