We’ve been talking a great deal about how ALPINA is moving underneath the BMW Group’s corporate umbrella but lest we forget Triumph has been there for nearly three decades. Yes, the German luxury brand indirectly acquired the trademark when it purchased the Rover Group back in 1994. BMW went on to sell the car-making and engine manufacturing assets of the original Rover Group in 2000 but it retained the Triumph brand.
Not to be confused with Triumph Motorcycles (the two split in 1936), the Triumph Motor Company is being (briefly) resurrected. Why now? To celebrate 100 years since the first Triumph car and also 70 years since the Triumph TR2 MVC575 – a pre-production prototype – hit a record-breaking 124.889 mph. In 1953, it was crowned the fastest sports car with a sub-2.0-liter engine. Although it doesn’t look like it, trust us when we say the TR25 is based on the BMW i3S. Yes, the quirky electric hatchback that went out of production a little over a year ago has returned. Well, kind of.
This new sports car concept is a single-seater with an optional flip-out jump seat and a nearly perfect 50:50 weight distribution. Although BMW wasn’t involved in the project, it did give its permission to London-based automotive design house Makkina to build the retro-flavored British roadster. Manufactured in Germany, the TR2 concept with its door that swings upwards has a refreshingly clean exterior design combined with a minimalist cabin as a throwback to roadsters of yesteryear.
Tipping the scales at approximately 1,095 kilograms (2,414 pounds), the TR2 is actually about 170 kg (375 lbs) lighter than the donor car. It needs 5.2 seconds to reach 62 mph (100 km/h) from a standstill and tops out at 115 mph (185 km/h). We’ll remind you the BMW i3S had an electric motor good for 184 horsepower (135 kilowatts) and 270 Newton-meters (199 pound-feet) of torque. The 33.2-kWh lithium-ion battery pack with a usable capacity of 27.2 kWh has enough juice for roughly 190 miles (306 kilometers).
Makkina director Michael Ani said: “We’re proud of the way we have revitalized the Triumph [Motor Company] name and thank our friends BMW Group for allowing us the honor to badge a car that not only celebrates our company’s [Makkina’s] 25th anniversary but also 70 years of the ‘Jabbeke’ TR2 record run and 100 years of this iconic marque [Triumph Motor Company].”
The TR25 will remain a one-off affair, with no plans for a production model.