What would a Triumph roadster look like today, if the British firm was still operating?
That’s the question British automotive design consultancy firm Makkina has aimed to answer with its TR25 concept, celebrating the defunct brand’s 100th anniversary.
Makkina is a consultancy firm for some of the world’s biggest car companies, working on a confidential basis on design briefs and development.
Unveiling its creation at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, Makkina said the model that inspired the design challenge of the TR25 concept was the 1950s ‘Jabbeke’ TR2 MVC575.
Driven by Sir Stirling Moss, the TR2 broke the speed record for a 2.0-litre production sports car in 1953 in Jabbeke, Belgium.
A ‘celebration of the great British roadster’, the TR25 is an all-electric roadster model that shares its chassis and 137kW rear-mounted electric motor with the axed BMW i3 S hatchback.
The TR25 concept car, although decidedly modern with its scissor doors and geometric wheel design, has adopted the headlights and exaggerated haunches and body proportions of the original racer.
Like the TR2, the TR25 has a semi-enclosed cockpit with a driver’s side windshield, but it has also gained an optional hidden flip-out passenger jump seat under a folding door.
A classic racer has been used as inspiration for the interior panel, with a digitised yet simple cluster providing only necessary information such as road speed, charge and range to recall an era before touchscreen infotainment when the driver was at the ‘centre of the experience’.
The body has been constructed of ‘F1-grade’ composite materials, including the central spine to provide structural rigidity in the cockpit, and Makkina claims special attention has been paid to power-to-weight distribution.
Much as there’s an i3 underneath the TR25’s shapely bodywork, there’s a connection between the BMW and Triumph brands.
BMW has held the rights to the Triumph Motor Company brand since 1994 when it acquired the Rover Group, and has held onto it even after selling off the remainder of the parent group.
Despite this, BMW has not attempted to revive the historic brand aside from permitting Makkina to reimagine its historic model.
The Triumph name, at least for automobiles, has been dormant since 1984. Its last vehicle was a rebadged Honda Ballade sedan called the Acclaim.
Makkina’s director and founder Michael Ani told Auto Express, “Although not intended for limited production at the moment, the fact that TR25 is based on a BMW platform and powertrain, provides scope to turn our concept into reality should the right opportunity arise.”
“Using the BMW i3S platform allows us to create a blend of old and new with the TR2-inspired body shape and the versatile and adaptable powertrain, creating a seamless, fully electric experience,” said Mr Ani.
The i3 was considered a pioneer of its segment upon its release in 2014, but it was discontinued without a direct replacmeent. Australian stock of the carbon-tubbed, coach-door city car dried up at the end of 2021.
Production officially ended last year after 250,000 models, though the i3 nameplate lives on with an electric version of the 3 Series sedan, sold exclusively in China.
Although not an obvious collaboration, Makkina explained that the Triumph ‘Jabekke’ TR2 was the creative inspiration for the Makinna studio, and reinterpreting the model on the 70th anniversary of its release was a poetic way for the firm to mark its own 25th anniversary.