Toyota’s sports car partnership with BMW will give birth to a Supra successor that, according to the latest rumors, will use a complex hybrid powertrain.
Japanese magazine Holiday reports that the new car will use a hybrid system with three electric motors and a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine.
Two of the electric motors will sit in the front of the car powering the two front wheels while the third motor will be integrated into the engine and transmission to power the rear. Toyota showed a version of that system last year during the Frankfurt Motor Show in its Yaris Hybrid R concept and again in more advanced TS040 Hybrid Le Mans prototype. As you might remember from past coverage, the Yaris Hybrid R uses a supercapacitor to store energy. That system is supposed to be the same equipment being packaged with the new Supra for a total system output of about 350 horsepower.Grab a 48″ x 32″ Poster of the new 2015 Toyota Supra FT-1- Click Here
When Toyota revealed its FT-1 concept, which is widely thought to be a preview of the Supra, the Japanese company said it was targeting a curb weight somewhere around 3,000 lbs. Toyota is expected to reveal its new sports car sometime before 2017 as is BMW with its new platform-sharing sports car that will replace the current Z4.
Unlike the FR-S/BRZ, the two cars won’t share a design. Rather, Toyota is likely to take cues from the FT-1 Concept we saw earlier in the year, while BMW will probably stay in line with the Z4’s overall styling. Toyota and BMW are teaming up on what they’re calling an environmentally friendly sports car. They aren’t saying very much about it, in fact they buried the news in their announcement of an expanded technology partnership with BMW. Not a single reporter in Japan asked a question about the sports car (Boo!).
The next Z4 is a car BMW admits would never have happened if hybrid partner, Toyota, hadn’t suggested let slip that it wanted to build a belated replacement for its ultra-masculine Supra.
Already seen in three- and four-cylinder variants with both MINI and BMW, the modular concept will reach out to at least 250 kW of power (up from 225 kW) and around 450 Nm of torque in the stretch to six cylinders. It will mate a more advanced turbocharging system with state-of-the-art direct injection bolted to an all-alloy block.
Current thinking at BMW is to abandon the current Z4’s folding metal roof in favour of a return to a cloth roof. The move to a folding roof added weight, raised the car’s centre of gravity and meant the sports roadster lost a lot of its original owner base.
The new version will return to a kerb weight beneath 1400 kg, which promises athletic performance with the all-new engine sitting behind the front axle line.
Sources at BMW have confirmed the Z4 will benefit from its i3 and i8 adventures in light-weight technology, particularly some of the braver and more idiosyncratic uses of different lengths (and even off-cuts) of carbon-fibre to create specialist strength at light weights.