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      07-02-2012, 07:01 PM   #603

Drives: fat cars are still boats
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: compensating a fat car with horsepower is like giving an alcoholic cocaine to sober him up.

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BMW Rep Says Toyota's Sports Car will Have a Unique Design, Insider Hints at 6-Series-Based Supra

The sports car that BMW and Toyota plan to jointly develop could be a way for Toyota to leap back into a performance segment it has abandoned or possibly provide a high-priced sports model for Toyota's Lexus brand.

The two companies agreed last week to work together on an "environmentally friendly" sports car as well as on fuel-cell, electric vehicle components and lightweight materials.

"BMW's strength is in developing sports cars," said Toyota President Akio Toyoda, a racing fan who repeatedly has said he wants to add zest to Toyota's lineup. "I am excited to think of the cars that will result from this relationship."

Toyoda and BMW CEO Norbert Reithofer signed the agreement in Munich.

Details and timing of the cooperation were not discussed. But the sports cars will not be identical or share a common exterior design like the jointly developed Subaru BRZ, Toyota 86 and Scion FR-S coupes, said a BMW spokeswoman in Munich. The Subaru/Toyota coupes went on sale this year.

BMW's vehicle "will be a sustainable sports car with environmentally friendly technology," she said. "We are developing the architecture and components for this future car."

A BMW insider speculated that the collaboration could provide the basis for the return of the Toyota Supra, possibly using the BMW 6-series architecture. The Supra, once the performance spearhead of the Toyota lineup, was last produced in 2002.

"Anything is possible," the senior BMW manager told Autoweek, a sibling publication of Automotive News Europe. "The key factor is that the products of both companies retain their own individual character, despite jointly developed technologies."