'Wanna Collab Bro?' - The 5 Best Joint Ventures Between Manufacturers
Sometimes even the top dogs need a little help from their friends.
Even the greats need a spot of help from time to time. Whether it's assistance with styling, development or just loaning an engine, occasionally manufacturers come together to make something sensational. This list aims to celebrate the majesty that can occur when a joint venture goes to plan. Shall we?...
Audi RS2 - Developed With Porsche
(image credit of ranwhenparked.net)
We couldn't do this list without mentioning the founding father of all Audi RS cars. The RS2 was based on Audi's tried and tested 80 Avant platform - but the looks really are all that was retained. The engine was replaced with the most powerful iteration of Audi's Inline 5 Turbo (311 HP to be exact) that traced it's roots back to the monstrous Quattro. Speaking of, it also featured the renowned quattro 4WD system, meaning it was good for 0-60 in 4.8 seconds and would hold the road like a champion even in the worst of conditions. Though much of the drivetrain came from Audi, it was assembled by the 911 boys in Stuttgart - meaning it was setup for speed. It also sported Porsche brakes and suspension as well as their signature cup alloys. Though to the naked eye this was still very much an Audi, you need only look at the rear badging to see the Porsche DNA contained within.
Toyota GT86/Subaru BRZ
A true modern cult classic.
Back at the start of the 2010's two of Japans giants decide they both wanted to make a small two door sports car that would not only be excellent to drive - but affordable. Even for Toyota and Subaru, that was a tall order. They decided it would be easier together and so co-development began on the RWD twins. They used Subaru's signature flat 4 boxer engine mated to Toyota's 6 Speed manual gearbox. It may only produce 197hp and though that means it won't win any drag races, the absurdly skinny Prius tyres they fitted allowed it to waggle it's tail down any road you'd throw at it, even at low speeds. Aggressive styling and a decent cabin made this little pocket drift machine the bargain of the century, all thanks to a little collaboration.
From The Golden Days Of The Hypercar
McLaren HQ may now be on the speed dial list of all your least favourite youtubers (I'm thinking lime green 720's), but way back in the early noughties, the name didn't mean anywhere near as much as it does today. Though they had been a long standing pillar within the world of F1, their only real successful road car had been the legendary F1 almost a decade before. It took a nudge from the boffins at Mercedes-Benz to convince them to once again leak their knack for racing machines onto the road. Launched in 2003, the SLR took the best bits of both companies. The crack smoking axe murderers at AMG shoehorned a 5.4 litre, supercharged V8 under its nose - producing back then an unprecedented 617hp. AMG also provided carbon ceramic brakes to prevent all £300,000 of car careering into Monaco harbour. Meanwhile, the car took plenty of Formula 1 tech from the McLaren team, including an active rear air brake and plenty of time in the wind tunnel. As a result, this little team effort was good for 208mph and 0-60 in only 3.4 seconds. This then wasn't just a magnificent grand tourer, but a true hypercar of it's day.
Maserati GranTurismo (Powered By Ferrari)
Charming Playboy or Handsome Brute?
Maserati have over the last 20 years or so given us arguably some of the greatest V8 bellows of all time. Though the engines found in the Grandsport and GranCoupe made a sensational noise, it really is the GranTurismo S that nailed the formula. Only niggle is, that what it houses is not technically a Maserati engine. The 4.7l V8 that powers the GranTurismo was in truth birthed by the wizards at Maranello (albeit with some slight assistance from their similarly Italian cousins.) and subsequently had a Maserati badged slapped on it to blend in with the rest of the car. That said, if you're having a heart transplant - you want the very best and a prancing horse has just about the strongest ticker around.
BMW Z4/Toyota Supra
I can hear all the JDM purists screaming at me and yes, everything you're saying makes sense. The new Supra may wear the badge, but underneath it really is just a Z4. They didn't even try to hide it - it uses BMW's iDrive for crying out loud. Yes, it's just a BMW - but is that such a bad thing? They sure know how to make a car feel good and go like hell, so if you need a partner in crime it seems like a solid choice. The BMW B58 6 cylinder engine that powers both cars is the latest in a long line of incredibly punchy turbocharged engines produced by the Bavarians, sure it's not a 2JZ but it's not half bad. Plus unlike the original it has a pleasant interior and a whole host of creature comforts to boot. The beautiful Japanese body on top just screams Toyota and sweetens the deal enough to win most people over - making this Japanese-German hybrid a real winner in my book.
Honourable Mention: Audi RS6 (C6)
Make no mistake, this 5 door family estate harbours behind it's nostrils the V10 from a Lamborghini Gallardo. It doesn't make the list on the basis that Lambo at the time was owned by Audi - making this a solo effort. Still though, fast wagons will always be cool.