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BMW and Toyota move forward with new sports car

Putting an end to a long-standing rumor, BMW and Toyota have announced that they are moving forward with the joint development of a sports car.

While both automakers are doing their best to keep official details under wraps, industry rumors indicate the jointly-developed platform will spawn the successor to the BMW Z4 (pictured) and a heir to the iconic Toyota Supra that was axed a little over a decade ago. BMW will tap into its extensive carbon fiber expertise in order to make both cars as light as possible.

Both cars will ride on the same rear-wheel drive platform, though all-wheel drive will likely be offered at an extra cost on select trim levels. The cars will be available with either a straight-six engine borrowed from the BMW parts bin or a Toyota-designed gasoline-electric hybrid drivetrain consisting of a four-cylinder engine and a potent electric motor.

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The two cars will not share any body panels and they will wear a distinctly different design. BMW’s variant will take the form of a convertible with a retractable hard top, while the Toyota-badged model is expected to arrive as a coupe.

Both sports cars will be introduced in either late 2016 or early 2017 and go on sale shortly after. The Supra was loosely previewed by the FT-1 concept that bowed in Detroit last year, and the next Z4 could be shown as a thinly-veiled concept before its official debut.