In the early 2010s, there was a lot of news about a collaboration between Toyota and BMW to bring a set of new sports cars to the market. In short, it was news that Toyota was planning a successor for the Toyota Supra and BMW was planning a successor for the BMW Z4, and both models would share the same architecture – the same story behind the Toyota 86 and the Subaru BRZ. It was later said that Toyota would build the new Supra alone, but would co-develop the next Z4 with BMW. Since then, we’ve seen the new BMW sports car – dubbed the Z5 – testing under heavy camo, and we’ve seen what may have been a preview of the new Supra when Toyota debuted the 2014 Toyota FT-1 concept.
Now, German news outlet has announced that both brand’s models will be built by independent vehicle manufacturer Magna Steyr – the Austria-based plant that currently builds the Mercedes G-Class, Mini Countryman, and Mini Paceman. According to the German new outlet, the Z5 is set to go into production first, with the successor to the Supra to follow shortly thereafter. Furthermore, it was said that annual production would be somewhere around 60,000 units for each model.
As of now, BMW has confirmed that it had plans to start building a new model at Magna’s plant in 2018 but had yet to disclose which model. That said, it’s quite possible that the new Z5 will be the model that starts production in 2018. For now, the successor to the Supra remains unnamed, but expect it to start production in late 2018 or early 2019. Based on the spy shots of the Z5, we know that it will be a soft top roadster and will be rear-wheel drive. As for the Supra, we expect it to at least be a hybrid that uses technology from Toyota’s recent WEC developments. The proverbial cat is practically out of the bag for now, so stay tuned for more updates on the collaboration between BMW and Toyota.
Why it matters
All I can say at this point is: Finally! We’ve been waiting for Toyota to finally have a sports car worth talking about, especially after the concepts we’ve seen in the past. Initially, I expected both manufacturers to use their own plants to develop their next-gen sports cars, but considering the roadster market is small, and both will be lower-volume models, it only makes sense to have Magna as the production middle man.
Originally, we were expecting to see these new sports cars as early as 2013 or 2014, but with production presumably ready to kick off in the next couple years, we should be seeing them as early as late 2018 or early 2019. I can’t wait to see Toyota’s successor for the Supra, as Toyota’s lineup has become all but exciting over the past few years. Now, we just have to hope there aren’t any more hiccups between now and the time production kicks off.