There have been a lot of successful partnerships over the past 30 to 40 years. Scorsese and De Niro collaborations have reeled in 3 Oscars…Jordan and Pippen teamed up to win 6 championships… Now, Toyota- the world’s most valuable automaker- and BMW are throwing their hat in the collaboration ring. In 2013, Toyota and BMW agreed to work together in a number of different areas that included lithium air batteries and lightweight technology. Okay, that’s pretty cool (YAWN). But, it’s not as cool as their plans for 2014.
In 2014, the Toyota/BMW alliance is planning to release two different sports cars (okay, now you got my engine revving). According to BMW’s development chief Herbert Diess, “We have agreed on a joint architecture for a sports car. What is important is that there will be two different vehicles that are authentic to the two brands.” It’s been reported that BMW will focus its efforts on the exterior, while Toyota will focus on designing an advanced battery system.
This looks to be a great partnership on paper, too. Toyota is primarily known as a utilitarian auto company, and BMW is known for performance and luxury. A combination of the two could give people a mixture of speed, style, comfort, and affordability. Toyota has had success in similar ventures in the past, too. They’ve ventured out into the performance car sector and have successfully worked in close collaboration with other companies in the past, as well.
Some of Toyota’s successes in these worlds include:
- The Toyota 2000GT– This vehicle was a child that was born in 1965 out of the partnership between Toyota and Yamaha. The car was limited in its production (only 351 were made!) and is considered by many
to be more of a concept car that inspired further Toyota ventures. The car has a front engine, rear-wheel drive, two seat, hardtop coupé grand tourer design. Many collectors think of this as the very first highly collectable Japanese car.
- The Toyota Supra- Even though this car from Toyota was produced with no other company’s input, it was a highly successful Toyota venture into the sports car/grand tourer world. The Supra was produced from 1978 to 2002 and has become somewhat of a pop culture icon. It has been featured in the Fast and Furious franchise, in Grand Theft Auto, and a number of other television shows, movies, and video games.
- The Toyota 86 line– This was a partnership between Toyota and Subaru that produced a number of grand tourer sports coupes. They feature boxer engines, rear wheel drive layouts, and 2+2 seating. From this line, the GT86 won a number of car of the year awards, and the Scion FR-S was picked by US News as the most affordable sports car of 2012.
I can’t lie; this latest news about Toyota and BMW has got me very excited. They haven’t released any pictures of their concept ideas, but with both companies having such rich histories, I bet it will be pretty sweet.