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Monday, November 11, 2013

BMW and Toyota Working on i8/LFA Based Hybrid Sports Car

It's been nearly two years since Toyota and BMW announced an agreement to work together to develop sports cars using state-of-the-art hybrid technologies, and now a source close to the two companies says the pair has decided on its first joint-venture.

Motoring.com.au recently spotted a BMW i8 at Toyota’s proving ground near Mt. Fuji, reportedly undergoing emissions and durability testing. It claims this is a prelude to a joint supercar development program.

Such a program would give Toyota – the carmaker that popularized hybrids in the first place – a hybrid successor to the Lexus LFA. Toyota wouldn’t just have a new halo model, it would have one with hybrid technology that could be more easily connected to its mainstream models. The marketing department will be happy, at least.

BMW could potentially leverage the platform to build a car that slots above the i8 in its lineup, offering true supercar performance. While the i8 was designed to balance performance and economy, BMW has toyed with the idea of building a more performance-oriented car.

Supercar makers are more conscious of CO2 emissions than ever before while at the same time delivering more power and performance. Powertrain electrification is the key to meeting these goals in the same vehicle.

Take, for example, the electrically assisted Ferrari La Ferrari and McLaren P1, or the purely battery-powered Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Electric Drive – the most powerful AMG ever made.

Porsche has its Panamera plug-in hybrid too, as well as the million-dollar 918 Spyder super-hybrid that recently set a new production-car lap record of 6:57 at the Nurburgring.

Source: Motoring.com.au

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