We know that BMW’s partnership with Toyota will likely yield a successor to the celebrated Supra as well as the new Z5 sports car, but that was supposed to be merely Phase I of the collaboration. Phase II, a very high-end performance project dubbed Silk Road, was last reported to be on hold. A new rumor from Auto Express says the supercar endeavor is still a go, with an all-wheel-drive mid-engine prototype with 800-odd-hp on the horizon, and a launch date of 2020.
Echoing the arrangement predicted for the smaller-scale Supra/Z5 sports car, Toyota is said to be providing the plug-in hybrid technology and twin electric motors that will drive the supercar’s front wheels. The rear wheels will use one of two gasoline powerplants: BMW would supply a bespoke M-engineered twin-turbo inline-six, while the Lexus variant would get its 3.7-liter V-8 (detuned to 513 hp) for Toyota’s TS040 Le Mans racer. According to AE, both models will use an aluminum spaceframe and carbon fiber tub.
The anonymous source claims that “While 1,000bhp is possible, fuel consumption, emissions and engine tolerances will see a more realistic figure of 800bhp targeted.” AE also anticipates a starting price in the UK of £160,000, or about $240,000. This estimate jives with earlier reports that the successor to the $375,000 Lexus LFA would arrive at a more accessible price point.
This is now the second BMW supercar prediction we’ve encountered lately. Our own European bureau chief Georg Kacher reports that BMW wants to make a McLaren 650S-based supercar with a quad-turbo, 750-hp V-8 displacing 4.0 liters. It would hit dealerships by 2019 with a starting price generously north of $225,000.
Neither of these projects are a sure bet, but there’s no way they’ll both happen, especially given the overlaps in price and timeline. Wherever the Roundel falls, be it on a Lexus or a McLaren, what’s clear is that BMW has its heart set on a supercar that has the potential to blow us away.