Supercars would not be the same if it weren’t for BMW, and hybrids would not exist as they do today without Toyota. So what happens when these two motoring giants collaborate? Good things, very good things! As we predicted last year, the Toyota-BMW partnership will be producing a new hybrid supercar, following the pattern of boundary-pushing, high-powered marvels such as Porsche 918, Ferrari LaFerrari, McLaren P1 and the forthcoming Acura NSX.
If reports are to be believed, the all-new vehicle will be in fact be the next-gen Lexus LFA; however with a hybrid boost from BMW’s i8 supercar. The standard LFA isn’t exactly a slouch, with the V10 4.8 liter engine churning out 552 horsepower and propelling the vehicle to 60mph in 3.6 seconds. Flat out, the LFA will reach 202 mph.
The automaker is also known for the fanatically high levels of fastidiousness used in its production. The vehicle was developed for five years; however was almost completely redesigned and scrapped at the last minute because the engineers wanted to try a carbon fiber body rather than aluminum one. Toyota wanted perfection and wouldn’t stop until it was achieved.
While the LFA strives for perfection in the current gen, the i8 seeks supremacy in the next. A plug-in hybrid, the i8 is motivated by a 3-cylinder, 231HP twin-turbocharged engine; however with an additional 131HP from an electric motor. That’s a combined 362 horsepower that’s good for a 0 to 60 time of 4.4 seconds and a staggering 134.5 mpg, if you factor in the all-electric driving range.
The combination should be absolutely sensational, but details on the new LFA are slim at the moment. We know that that the new vehicle will be more economical and powerful unlike its predecessor, but also likely more expensive. The previous Lexus cost $375,000, while the i8 is expected to retail for over $135,000.
Clearly, this level of performance engineering won’t come cheap; nonetheless it’s a small price to pay for automotive perfection from two generations.
Like I said, good things!