Toyota plans its own BMW Z4

31 Jan, 2014 10:55am Peter Lyon

Toyota is set to produce its own version of the BMW Z4

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.

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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.”

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