ANALYSIS: Is Toyota planning a BMW-based Lexus roadster?
The LF-LC concept at this year's Detroit show provided clues for Lexus' future styling direction. Might it have also have partially previewed a forthcoming roadster?
A 'sports vehicle' is among the projects that BMW AG and Toyota Motor Corporation announced as part of their new collaboration earlier on 29 June. Will this mean a new Lexus roadster to be twinned with the BMW Z4 replacement?
Neither the current nor previous generation Z4s have been strong sellers so it makes sense for BMW to seek out an alliance partner to share the development costs of the successor model. The Z4 is due to receive a mid-life facelift later in 2012, meaning the replacement model should appear some time in 2015 - presuming engineering work begins straight away, three years' time would seem about right for the likely launch date for this new 'sports vehicle'.
The current Z4 is manufactured alongside the 1 Series and 3 Series at Regensburg but it is not yet known where the roadster's successor will be built. The possibilities include the same plant or else a return to Spartanburg - the previous car was made, plus the world's largest national market for sports models such as the Z4 and its rivals seems likely to remain the US.
Lexus has never had an entrant in a segment which includes the much-admired Porsche Boxster and it is known that TMC president Akio Toyoda is particularly keen on shifting the brand's image more towards one of performance-with-luxury. If we start seeing more Porsche-sized Lexus concepts in the coming year or two, we'll know what that 'sports vehicle' or even sports vehicles BMW and Toyota say they are about to start co-developing on a bespoke platform.
Author: Glenn Brooks
Continuing just-auto's series of interviews with leading glass manufacturers, Matthew Beecham talked with Dr. Volkmar Offermann, marketing director of Saint-Gobain Sekurit International about trends i...
A final list of world premiere concepts and production models which appeared at the North American International Auto Show's media preview days....
In light of automotive production growth in the North America, Toyoda Gosei is establishing a new plant for automotive interior and exterior components in Stratford, Ontario, Canada....
Denso says it has developed the world's first integrated, in-vehicle wireless cell phone charger, in collaboration with Philips and Lite-On Digital Solutions (PLDS)....
- Briefing: Supplier industry financial review
- VEHICLE ANALYSIS: MY2015 Volvo V60 Polestar
- THE WEEK THAT WAS: All eyes on Vienna
- INTERVIEW: Alain Uyttenhoven, Head of Lexus Europe
- VEHICLE ANALYSIS: Volkswagen Polo 1.2 TSI
- INDIA: Datsun horror inspires national crash tests
- Tesla and BMW in battery talks - reports
- Jaguar Land Rover named "most trustworthy OEM"
- 2014 GUANGZHOU SHOW: World premieres list
- UK: Bentley BY716 SUV to be called 'Bentayga'