BMW Launches Joint-Developed Sports Hybrid
Since the announcement of a BMW-Toyota partnership, we've been waiting to see what the two automakers were going to build. Earlier this year at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show, we saw Toyota's FT-1 concept. Now, BMW has previewed its Z4 replacement, which will draw upon Toyota's hybrid technology. BMW's variant will feature a direct-injected engine with electric motors, and, likely, four-wheel drive. Straying from Toyota's Le Mans LMP1 sports car program, BMW's sports car will offer a high-tech supercapacitor-touting hybrid system for performance and efficiency enhancements. Although lithium-ion batteries have been the choice of many automakers, these partners have chosen to implement supercapacitors as they can absorb and discharge kinetic energy much quicker, as well as being lighter and smaller. This was previously seen in the Toyota Yaris Hybrid R concept, and while the basics will be seen in the new BMW sports car, much has been changed and upgraded. When talking about the body of the newest edition to the BMW lineup, a BMW source said at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show that the company "will adopt lightweight solutions created in the development of the i3 and i8." We can expect the body to be made of carbon fiber reinforced plastic, along with high-strength steel and aluminum sections for added weight savings. While this may be one of the first models produced from the partnership with Toyota, there may very well be more products down the line. Both the BMW and Toyota vehicles will feature the shared platform, along with individual styling and interior designs. To get a feel for what BMW may be bringing to production, take a look at the Toyota FT-1 Concept and current BMW Z4. Source: Autocar UK
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