BMW and Toyota are already working on a joint-venture hybrid supercar that’s rumored to be more powerful and faster than the already legendary Lexus LF-A . That’s plenty of news to get excited about, but it appears the collaboration is about to spawn yet another enticing product. According to CAR, the said companies are planning to develop a range of mid-engined sports cars to go against the Porsche 911 . Talk about big ambitions.
Codenamed Silk Road 2, the project includes a mid-engined two-seater for both brands that will reportedly hit the market as the BMW Z7 and the Lexus ZC/ZR in late 2018 or early 2019. Both sports cars will be developed at BMW ’s headquarters in Munich and have 3.0-liter, inline-six engines fitted behind their seats. Aided by a pair of turbochargers, the mill is said to deliver between 400 and 500 horsepower. That’s right between the Porsche 911 Carrera S and the 911 Turbo .
Since sports cars are also about lightness, BMW will focus on reducing weight too. Word has it the aim is for the vehicle to tip the scales at around 3,637 pounds. Not bad considering other BMW or Toyota products, but certainly not enough against the 911. Both the 911 Carrera S and the 911 Turbo are lighter at 3,040 pounds and 3,538 pounds respectively. This will likely slow things down in the performance department, but four to five years are long way to go and many changes can occur.
Once they are ready to hit the market, the BMW Z7 and the Lexus ZC/ZR will retail for around €90,000 ($121,960 as of 6/12/2014), the report adds, which makes them cheaper than the Porsches they’re designed to challenge.
Also included in the project is a hybrid powertrain that will include a still unknown twin-turbo engine and an electric motor rated at around 150 horsepower. The drivetrain will also include a quick seven-speed, dual-clutch, high-performance batteries, composite brakes and active aerodynamics.
Click past the jump to read more about Toyota and BMW’s future "Project Silk Road 2."
Why It Matters
As it stands, the BMW-Toyota partnership is set to spawn an array of very appealing machines. Not only the much-discussed supercar will likely bring new technologies to the market, but these new cars will open brand-new opportunities for both BMW and Toyota, who still have plenty of gaps to fill in their lineups. Of course, project Silk Road 2 is still at least four years away and the Porsche 911 is a unique and tough-to-beat machine, but these new sports cars are definitely worth keeping an eye on.