BMW and Lexus are teaming up to create the spiritual successor to the Lexus LFA, a supercar worthy of the M Badge.
BMW doesn’t really have a supercar and Audi is supposedly beating the living heck out of BMW in the PR wars over in their home country Germany. BMW has decided to rectify this as soon as possible and according to a report from our Spanish motoring friends over at Auto Bild earlier yesterday (Sept. 20, 2015), they are recruiting engineers and designers from Lexus in order to give a one-two punch to Audi’s R8. According to Motoring.com down under, it looks like a prototype has already been mocked up with two engine choices in development.
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Thanks to an inside source working on the project the chassis of this Lexus LFA successor will incorporate an aluminum space frame and CF bath tub layout much like Acura’s NSX and similar to the McLaren 650S. The internal combustion engine will power the rear wheels with electric motors up front providing additional propulsion.
One power unit in contention comes from BMW’s M division and will use a turbocharged straight six with hybrid technology. Supposedly BMW is working with Toyota on that front. In the BMW M4 coupe, the twin-turbocharged V6 in that configuration makes 425 HP and 405 lb-ft. With twin electric motors up front, that powertrain may see numbers hover around 700 total HP.
The power unit that has everyone talking seems to be a 3.7 liter V8 taken straight from the guts of Toyota’s WEC TS040 Hybrid racecar. The V8 itself is normally aspirated but when combined with its massive electric motors, more than 1000 HP is on tap. The source within the project revealed that 800 HP would be more reasonable in this particular application.
BMW choose to collaborate with Lexus because they were impressed by their commitment to excellence and their drive to produce the Lexus LFA even in the midst of an economic downturn. The First Lexus LFA concept came out in 2000 with development going on for four years. Not until 2009 did CEO Akio Toyota announce that his supercar was being built despite pressures from the economy. With only 500 produced, the Lexus LFA was powered by a high-revving V10 that packed 553 HP and 354 lb-ft. What resulted was one of the best-made cars in the world. Thanks to the tireless effort of Toyota’s artisans, every process was documented and recorded, a point that BMW probably want to use to their advantage.
Rumor is that this all-new supercar will arrive in five years, just in time for the Tokyo Olympic games in 2020 with an MSRP of around $200,000. Quite fitting. And remember, take this largely rumor based piece of news with a giant grain of salt.