Already working together on the so-called “Silk Road” project to create the next-generation Z4 roadster and a successor to the Supra, BMW and Toyota are now said to be collaborating on a mid-engine supercar. The ultra-high-performance offering would give Lexus a follow-up model to the LFA and yield an Audi R8 competitor for BMW.
“BMW is getting trounced in the PR war of words in Germany, with Audi saying that BMW does not have a supercar whereas Audi does,” says a source close to Lexus. BMW wants to change that, with Toyota’s help.
Our source reveals that both companies have jointly built a prototype with a mid-engine layout and all-wheel drive. The design features a carbon-fiber tub married to an aluminum space frame, and the all-wheel-drive system is said to be not unlike that of the new Acura NSX, with electric motors driving the front wheels.
From what our insider reveals, there are two power units currently under development. BMW’s supercar will use a bespoke, M-developed twin-turbo straight-six paired with plug-in-hybrid technology courtesy of Toyota. Toyota is rumored to be testing a detuned version of its Le Mans TS040 race car’s 520-hp, 3.7-liter V-8 for the Lexus version of the supercar. And with the 480 horsepower produced by the front and rear motors, the total power output would reach the magic number of 1000. Our insider says, however, that “while 1000 horsepower is possible, fuel consumption, emissions concerns, and engine-tolerance figures will see a more realistic target figure of 800 horsepower.”
The supercar collaboration still has a major hurdle to clear in order to create a viable rival to the R8: cost. Whereas the LFA carried a sticker price north of $375,000, the successor and its BMW sister car would need to land in showrooms for around $200,000. According to our source, the supercars would arrive just in time for the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020. By: CarandDriver