MUNICH (Bloomberg) -- BMW Group and Toyota Motor Corp. have moved closer to a jointly developed sports car platform, BMW said in a statement to Bloomberg.
The automaker said the development of vehicle underpinnings "has moved on to the concept phase and is running according to plan" and that a technical feasibility study into the project that began in January 2013 has been "successfully completed."
The midsize model architecture is the most visible project within a broader partnership the manufacturers have said will last until at least 2020. The two companies have been tight-lipped about details, including the targeted introduction date, after announcing the plan early last year.
Toyota needs sports cars "to put that energy back into the brand," Europe Executive Vice President Karl Schlicht said last month at the Paris auto show when asked about the cooperation with BMW.
In January, Toyota showed the FT-1 coupe concept at the Detroit auto show. The company said the rear-wheel-drive sports car's design drew from past models including the Supra, 2000GT and Celica.
The development of a sports car platform is part of a wider cooperation between the two carmakers that includes cooperation on research into fuel cells, lightweight technology and lithium ion batteries.
Both companies declined to comment further on the platform development.