Toyota Supra to gain BMW hybrid technology

According to Auto Express, “The Toyota Supra is set to return as a plug-in hybrid sports car using BMW underpinnings.”

The highly-anticipated car is expected to take on “radical styling influenced by the FT-1 concept” seen at this year’s Detroit Motor Show.

“It’s understood that the underpinnings for the next-generation BMW Z4 will also form the basis of a new Supra. The new BMW roadster will use lightweight know-how gleaned from the i3 and i8 plug-in range, with extensive use of aluminium and carbon fibre aimed at reducing weight and upping the roadster’s stiffness.

“But while the new Z4 is expected to use turbocharged, direct-injection four- cylinder engines and remain rear-wheel drive, Toyota will borrow the same engines and instead use electric power to unlock all-wheel-drive traction. “Toyota is thought to be employing drip-down tech from its Le Mans race cars, although unlike the TS040 Hybrid, the ‘new Supra’ will use twin electric motors on the front axle, together with an engine-supplementing e-motor at the rear, rather than purely rear-wheel drive. This will allow a greater degree of regenerative braking, plus the handling benefits of torque vectoring, by instantly shifting drive or retardation between the car’s wheels in hard cornering.

“Interestingly, the system will implement Toyota’s first-ever dual- clutch transmission, in place of the slow-witted CVT gearboxes we’re accustomed to in existing Toyota and Lexus hybrids. By designing the motors in-house, and taking advantage of BMW’s weight- saving methods, Toyota is thought to be targeting a kerbweight of less than 1,400kg.”