Senin, 20 Januari 2014

Rumors: BMW-Toyota Join Venture to Launch New Z4

Toyota has been in the headlines since the Detroit Auto Show thanks to its gorgeously styled FT-1 Concept.

While this coupe, which is being hailed as the next-generation Supra, will remain in concept form only, there is one other Toyota that will definitely make it onto the road. This as yet unnamed mid-sized Toyota sports car may not stimulate the optic nerves as much as the FT-1, but one source close to Toyota tells us that it will be co-developed with BMW, be a sister car to the next-generation Z4, “and drive superbly.” That’s right, Toyota will co-develop the next Z4 with the German carmaker.

In 2013, both companies conducted a feasibility study into the mid-sized coupe’s potential and discussed topics including the type of materials to use and even what powertrain to employ. The exterior design has not been finalised yet, but our source filled us in on one design direction taken by Toyota.

The coupe you see in this image is an artist’s impression of what Toyota’s version of the Z4 could look like. And while it’s edgy and not that pretty, we can expect some strategic touch-ups by the time the car is due for launch in 2017.

The new coupe will employ the front-engine, rear-drive layout of the current Z4. But this car will be amazingly light

“This car will use the same lightweight body construction as the i3 and i8,” a source says. That means lots of carbon fiber and aluminium in a car which will incorporate basic body and chassis design by BMW.

“And even with that type of construction, you can expect a sticker price around the same as that of the current Z4. No more than $70,000,” adds our source. This sounds incredible given the historic cost of carbon fiber. But as our insider explains, BMW has teamed with Germany’s SGL to develop innovative carbon fiber technology that is seeing the cost of such materials fall significantly to less than one-fifth of its current value. 

Thanks to: Motor Trend

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