Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last year or so, you should know there’s a joint venture between BMW and Toyota that will result in a new Z4, and a Supra successor. But hardcore BMW fans worried about a car almost identical to Toyota’s apart from badging needn’t worry.
When asked by Car Advice if the co-operation would yield a result like the near identical Toyota GT86 and Subaru BRZ, the products of another partnership, BMW Group Australia CEO Marc Werner said: “It will be absolutely a unique BMW product, as you would expect.” He also said: “It will be absolutely unique. Not only in terms of design, but how they drive and how they handle.”
That’s no huge surprise: the Z4 concept revealed a few weeks ago showed radically different styling compared to what we’ve seen of the new ‘Supra’ so far, which will take cues from the FT-1 concept (below). We’d also expect each manufacturer to go its own way with infotainment systems and interior design. And if the Z4 doesn’t smell like a BMW, well, we’ll be disappointed.
As to why the co-operation went ahead in the first place, Werner says it’s - as you’ve probably guessed - all about money. “The roadster segment is unfortunately declining over the last couple of years — not only for us, but each and every manufacturer,” he said, adding, “So we decided to join forces with Toyota.”
If that means we can have two sports cars that might have otherwise been smothered at birth by the modern car buyer’s penchant for SUVs, we’re all for it.