The German and Japanese companies, which have agreed to develop a joint platform for a new vehicle, are close to striking an agreement for that project to produce a sports car, sharing the huge development costs and filling a hole in their respective product line-ups.
The two companies have already been collaborating on fuel cell technology, lightweight components and hybrid systems.
“On both sides we have strong motivation to make it successful, we want to make the car,” Toyota executive vice president Didier Leroy said. “We know exactly which kind of body we want to do, we know exactly which kind of powertrain we want to use … now we just have to decide by when we want to start this car.”
“Sports cars are more difficult to derive from mainstream [product] architecture, so you need special architecture,” he said. “That leads to a situation where volumes per car are relatively small . . . it makes good sense to combine the efforts.”