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Does Toyota Have a Crush on the BMW i8?

Rumor / 75 Comments

Or more specifically, BMW's advanced plug-in hybrid technology.

A few days ago, a rumor came out claiming that Toyota is seeking BMW's assistance for its next-generation supercar, aka the LFA replacement. As we stated then, we're not entirely convinced of this, the reason being is that Toyota is fully capable of producing a supercar in-house. The LFA is proof. However, the BMW i8 has apparently caught Toyota's attention. More specifically, Lexus is looking to do a new plug-in hybrid supercar.

Despite Toyota's advanced knowledge of hybrid systems, taking advantage of some aspects of the i8's technology would cut back on development costs. If BMW and Toyota/Lexus were to proceed with this, then the latter would reportedly use a more powerful gasoline engine than the i8's 1.5-liter unit which, combined with the electric motor, produces about 358 horsepower. Lexus would very much like to be on par with the likes of the LaFerrari and McLaren P1, so its car will need to generate a combined output of at least 870 to 1,000 hp. It could boil down to this: Toyota would develop the gasoline engine and then hook it up to the i8's plug-in hybrid system.

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