Mention “Triumph,” and sports car lovers cringe: Does the starter start? Do the headlights light? Did the engine flood?
Not all British cars had electrical issues, but certain model Triumphs, built with Lucas parts, were famous for them. So the concept of an all-electric version of this classic British roadster might be enough to make some readers turn the page right now. But wait …
Now, exactly a century since the Triumph name first appeared on a production car, it returns as the “Triumph TR25 by Makkina” — Makkina being a non-public facing design consultancy in the UK that numbers several major car companies among its clients.
The reborn Triumph exists purely as a concept, says Makkina founder Michael Ani, ‘a contemporary vision of the famous ‘Jabbeke’ Triumph TR2,” he 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.”
BMW in fact currently owns Triumph naming rights, and the car has been built around the mechanicals of a BMW i3 S, sharing its electric powertrain and underlying chassis. The rear-mounted electric motor has the same 184 horsepower as the SUV but the concept has a much lower weight at about 2,400 pounds, down from the i3 S’s 2,843 pounds. A zero-to-60 time is claimed to be 5.2 seconds.
With its abbreviated front and rear overhangs and extremely simple lines, the model’s profile look is only broken by the shut lines outlining the doors. The two-seat cabin is semi-enclosed, a nod to the above mentioned ‘Jabbeke,’ a land speed record holder for cars under two liters from 1953.
“Our aim was to update the true character of the Jabbeke with our design, through both interior and exterior design,” said Ani. “Using the BMW i3 S 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.”