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Toyota’s sports car aficionados will be pleased to know that the next-generation Toyota Supra will finally be unveiled just two years from now, in 2018. According to Autocar, the new Japanese sports car will come shortly after the BMW Z5, both these cars being the spawn of a joint venture between Munich and the world’s largest carmaker.

The two companies have been working together on both cars since 2012; however, they have now gone their own separate ways in terms of development. We’ve previously brought you spyshots of a convertible Z5 being tested on the road, and the British publication understands that the Supra is said to be in a similar stage of development.

Acting as a replacement to the long-departed MkIV Supra, which last left the factory in 2002, the new Toyota will be inspired by the stunning FT-1 concept shown at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show, and positioned above the 86 in the company’s lineup.

This positioning is reflected in the use of the Supra name, which traditionally sat above the Celica – and the AE86 Corolla Levin and Sprinter Trueno that served as inspiration for the current 86. This would allow the car to be considerably more expensive than the 86 as Toyota’s sports car flagship, to account for what will likely be a complex powertrain and supercar-style construction.

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Both the Toyota Supra and BMW Z5 are expected to incorporate a hybrid system utilising a BMW engine (likely a petrol straight-six) and electric motors drawing juice from supercapacitors, providing four-wheel drive. The cars are also tipped to benefit from BMW’s expertise in carbon fibre construction, joining the likes of the BMW i3, i8 and G12 7 Series in incorporating the material in their architecture.

BMW board member for sales and marketing Ian Robertson has previously said that despite the two cars sharing plenty underneath, both companies have drawn up a proposal that will position the Supra and Z5 at different areas of the sports car market. “The one thing we’re clear on now is that a platform for both companies can work,” he said.

“The cars in themselves don’t actually need to be positioned the same. The platform can spawn two positionings. The concept works, the platform can deliver and now we have two proud sets of engineers – one group German, one group Japanese – who are each fighting and arguing for the car they want.”

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The BMW Z5, a relative of the next Toyota Supra, spotted testing

When asked if the platform was scalable to account for possible differences in wheelbase between the two car, Robertson responded, “Gone are the days when one platform was one platform. Most of our platforms are scalable these days.”

Robertson also noted that while no decision has been made on production, a single factory could be used to build both cars – likely to be in the United States or Europe, rather than in Japan. “One part of the next phase will be deciding who builds the car – which company and in which country. We need to find out where the markets are and whether the biggest markets are the same for both companies.”

Although Toyota’s luxury offshoot Lexus has yet to have access to the sports car joint venture, senior officials have declined to rule out such a possibility further down the line. “Toyota is next door,” said European boss Alain Uyttenhoven. “We are one company and our head is Akio Toyoda, and we could do it. Right now, we are not going to have a common platform between BMW and Lexus. Purely speaking, though, we have access to everything which is Toyota.”

SPYSHOTS: BMW Z5

GALLERY: Toyota FT-1 Concept