The folks at Car & Driver have sources who are telling them the new Toyota-BMW sports car may cost more than a Corvette. To put that in perspective, the starting price of a new C7 Corvette Stingray is $54,995.
The two companies have been talking about making a sports car together since 2012, but very little is known about what it will look like or what sort of power train it will offer. Even though both companies are working on hydrogen fuel cells and lithium-air batteries, we don’t know as of yet whether those technologies will find their way into the new car. What we do know is that Toyota has decades of experience with hybrid drivetrains and BMW is leading other manufactures in the use of carbon fiber for production cars, especially in its ground breaking i3.
We can assume that the new car will not be a fuel cell vehicle, as Toyota’s new Mirai already costs more than a Corvette but is only capable of producing a wimpy 130 horsepower. Not only that, it’s as homely as a hippopotamus.
Both Toyota and BMW know their car has to be a visually stunning if it is going to compete with the ultra-stylish Corvette. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, of course, but the Toyota FT-1 concept car (pictured above) that has been seen on the show circuit lately seems to be trying way too hard to be cutting edge.
And then there is the question of what will differentiate the BMW version of the car from Toyota’s offering. Since the BMW will likely be more expensive, it will need more than leather seats and a bigger touch screen to justify the extra cost. Could it have a different powertrain with more horsepower? Or could Toyota get the coupe and BMW the convertible version?
And where will the new car be positioned in the marketplace? Does Toyota want a car to compete head to head with the upcoming Acura NSX? Does BMW want a car that can play with the new Jaguar F-Type or even challenge the mighty Porsche 911? If so, the performance and the prices will likely be far higher than that entry level Corvette. We simply don’t know at this point. The Toyota/BMW collaboration is scheduled to run through 2020. Presumably we will have the answers by then.