Coming This Year: The BMW-Toyota Sports Car Collaboration
Posted by: Lydia on 24/01/2018
Any time you hear about two car manufacturers partnering up to build a a vehicle, you can guess something special is in the cards. It’s particularly exciting when it represents some in-depth collaboration.
This is happening right now with the sports car collaboration between BMW and Toyota. Here’s a look at what they’re up to.
What Toyota and BMW Bring to the Table
Every motorist knows Toyota and BMW. But in order to really appreciate what is special about this new project, a brief recap of each company is worthwhile.
Toyota is among the biggest manufacturers of vehicles in the world. In 2016-17 alone, it shipped over 10 million vehicles. As it is in Australia, the Japanese automaker is a staple in the global auto market, and you’d be hard-pressed to visit a shopping centre car park without spotting a Camry, a Prius, or another of Toyota’s most popular vehicles.
While they are a common sight on our roads, Toyota also has a rich pedigree in the world of auto racing and car design. Beyond their daily drivers, Toyota has been a great innovator.
The same is true of BMW. While not as big as Toyota or fellow German brand Volkswagen, the automaker shipped over 2.3 million vehicles in 2017 alone.
BMWs are beloved around the world for their style, performance, and tremendous history as trendsetters. Since their initial release in the 1970s, the German manufacturer’s Art Cars have been an instrumental part in shifting cars from something people drive, to pop culture icons in their own right.
The Essential Info
That’s why the partnership between these two car creators is so exciting: not only is it a meeting of east and west to design one vehicle, but it’s being done by two of the greatest brands in auto history. So, when are we likely to see the car come out? And what will it actually offer?
While the new vehicle was announced all the way back in 2012, recent months have seen an uptick in momentum. It was reported in late 2017 that production would be underway in 2018, and the car is likely to be produced in Austria. There are set to be 60,000 cars released around the world. That’s enough for regular fans to have a chance to get their hands on some keys, but not so many as to be a commonplace vehicle.
The car will actually be offered in two different models, with BMW and Toyota each releasing around 30,000 cars under their own badge. BMW is pegged to do so under their Z4 badge, while Toyota will make use of their legendary Supra line to bring these wheels to the world. The unique identity each maker has created in the roadster category means the creation rolling off the shared assembly line could be a game changer for the field.
Start your Engines
This split badge is exciting not only for collectors, but also for the instant car community it will create. Car clubs will seek to race them, parade them, and even trade them between BMW and Toyota devotees. While competition is sure to remain fierce on the race tracks, it will also bring together the fans of each company in a way that’s really rare.
Mclaren and Honda will forever have a shared history due to their dominance of F1 in the Ayrton Senna era. This new chapter from BMW and Toyota will be accessible to all car fans, on the race track and off. And because the two creators know every car lover is awaiting this release with anticipation, odds are good we’re in for something extra-special.
Change in the Car Industry
This new chapter is also promising for the potential it offers in our current era of car design.
Whether you love a vintage V8 or await impatiently the self-driving car, it’s clear that the future of cars will be more technically complex than ever before.
Manufacturers will continue to ‘fly solo’ and drive innovation by themselves in the name of competition and car sales. Just the same, greater innovation will always be possible when knowledge is shared, and goals are pursued together. And given that many car companies actually operate in a shared space of a bigger corporation, the potential for partnerships is certainly there. Given the greater challenges of bringing digital and electric vehicles to our roads, many automakers will be interested in following Toyota and BMW’s example.
The release of this new sports car was set to be a big deal no matter what. That’s what happens when two of the world’s most famous car makers come together to build a racer. But beyond this vehicle alone, there’s a need for more partnerships like it in an era of complex car designs, and it represents a cultural shift that could benefit car fans around the globe. It might sound funny given how often car companies line up next to each other on race tracks and in showrooms, but partnerships like this have historically been rare.
Much of this is due to competition - and certainly long-standing rivalries won’t just disappear overnight. But any time companies come together to share their knowledge and expertise, it promises to deliver something new and exciting to the market, and will be a real win for car fans.
That’s something to celebrate not only with this vehicle, but every car like it that follows.
What other collaborations in the car world are you excited about? Let us know in the comments below.