The next-generation BMW Z4 is being co-developed with Toyota, and the Japanese firm will also produce its own version of the car, according to sources inside the company.
BMW and Toyota met last year to discuss materials, powertrains and styling, and the coupe you see here is one suggested design direction, although it’s early days for a car that will launch in 2017.
The new coupe will employ a front-engine, rear-drive layout, following on from the current Z4. And our insider claims it will have a lightweight focus.
He said: “This car will use the same lightweight body construction as the i3 and i8.” That means lots of carbon fibre and aluminium in a model which will incorporate basic body and chassis design by BMW.
“And even with that type of construction, you can expect a price around the same as that of the current Z4,” added our source.
Toyota will contribute its next- generation plug-in hybrid tech, incorporating a capacitor like in the TS030 Le Mans car and the Yaris Hybrid R Concept.
Lithium-ion batteries should ensure a long-distance electric range, while the capacitor is for an instant electric boost.
One insider compared it with fitting a turbocharger. The engine is likely to come from BMW, and our source told us: “For this car, the potential for an engine that is no bigger than a 2.0-litre is very high.”