• Oct 11, 2007

England has an illustrious history of producing beautiful motorized transportation. Unfortunately, many of the Queen's car companies are either in big trouble, or they have gone the way of the Dodo. The Triumph car company made beautiful cars, but by the early 80s Triumph was associated only with unreliability and re-badged Rovers and Hondas.

Back in 1994, BMW purchased the Rover group, which included Land Rover, Mini, MG, and Triumph, among others. While Rover, Land Rover, and MG ended poorly, Mini has been a gold mine. Auto Express is reporting that the German automaker is now looking into breathing life into the famed Triumph name, and we're all for it. Imagine BMW engineering coupled with Triumph styling; that's one well-heeled couple. An additional marque could add volume to BMW while bringing down the cost of shared parts, and if BMW could manage to keep Triumph styling alive like it did for Mini, the top brass in Munich would be dizzy from cartwheels.

Click the Read link to view more renderings of what a triumphant return of Triumph might look like.

[Source: Auto Express]



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 36 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      BMW making Truimphs?

      Well let's face it, this is another British marque that Jerry can run down just like our beloved Rover, that was fine and making profits until they got their hands on it.

      And as for the MINI, don't forget that much of the concept and design work was carried out by Rover.

      BMW will make Triumph as sterile and un-exciting as their own branded cars and the MINI. The best thing that could happen to the Triumph badge is if it was sold to NAC in Longbridge. At least they have proper respect for the heritage of British marques and a real understanding of their meaning.
        • 7 Years Ago
        British marques seem to flourish only under foreign ownership.
        • 7 Years Ago
        British marques only flourish under foreign ownership because we've had a Chancellor for the past ten years who doesn't give a toss about British engineering and manufacturing, favouring inward investment into banking, service and the like. The effect being that the value of Sterling shot up making our exports more expensive and imports cheaper. And that same Government appears to have been advising potential investors against our own MG Rover - I wonder why after over two years that the Government enquiry into the collapse of MG Rover is still outstanding - far be it for e of course to imply Government incompetence.

        There's nothing wrong with our engineering or manufacturing. There was nothing wrong with the business plan at MG Rover, I am convinced. But there is something wrong with the country's economic strategy and until that is sorted out either through a shift in emphesis or a change of government, our industrial capacity will continue to suffer.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Having BMW's Straight 6's could mean well the revival of the GT 6.... You all know. I assume by now, the Love I nurture for this particular engine layout.. One idea could be also powering Triumphs with the great BMW diesels! I remember triumphs here on Malta from my childhood and until a couple of years ago my uncle used to own a Herald 1360 which he sprayed yellow, and whom I helped hands on to repair the body work. Its regretfully off the road by now!!!

      Very welcome revival!

      • 7 Years Ago
      They can do a lot better than the pictured car.

      I would LOVE to see triumph come back as an affordable british sports and GT cars. I LOVE aston martin, but that isn't exactly in my budget.

      An affordable british nameplate would be great, especially with reliable and readily-available engineering.

      Amid MG closing up and going to China, TVR closing up and going to Italy, or something, neither of which are available in the US, and the 'Healey' renovation not yet materializing, and Jaguar canning the XKF concept sports car, the british sports car market is out of reach to most, who can't afford an XK8, Noble, or Aston V8.

      It seems that the only affordable british sports cars are being sold by japanese or american companies, Mazda's Miata sports car torch-bearer, and Saturn's Sky, as a vauxhall VX-Lightning design badged to the Saturn and Opel brands; and maybe it's sister Solstice.

      A new Spitfire and GT6 (roadster/coupe pair)... And designed WELL, sounds fantastic to me. Especially with a BMW inline 4 or 6, under the price of the Z4. (and not as ugly as the z4.

      Re-skin the current Z4 as it's replacement comes down the pipe. De-content it, lighten it up a bit, and make it look like a real blend of classic curves and modern details, (much like the mini) and put a retouched Z4 coupe's hatchback, quarter windows, and double-bubble roof on it, and you have a worthy successor to the Spitfire and GT6. Lighter and less plush should bring the price down, and differentiate it from BMW's own 3/4 series roadster/coupe pair.

      The Spitfire name is more recognizeably british, and GT6 is fairly self-explanatory (GT coupe, 6-cylinder). Some people might recognize the TR* series... but it previously ended at TR8, and doesn't have many more numbers to go, and probably isn't as recognizeable by younger buyers.

      At least Spitfire can conjure up some aggression, and anyone familiar with WWII might remember it as a fighter plane, like the Mustang. Gee, that never got translated to a car... :D

      Just ditch that pictured concept, and design a real british sports car shape. Coke-bottle curves, maybe even a front tilting hood/bumper cover shell, and center exit exhaust, like the old e-type, as well as the Spitfire and GT6 used to have. The recent Mini has a clam-shell-like hood, too.

      Make it look like a smaller, more affordable Jaguar/Aston Martin Jr. New british sports car designs are some of the best looking cars ever, and this shouldn't be the exception, even if it is affordable.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I think you hit the nail on the head. Sucessful british cars have curves. (TR3, Spitfire, GT6, Etype, Aston, TVR, Healy). A moden spitfire could compete much better with Miata, especially with a BMW powerplant under the hood.

        Make it light and make it affordable. It has to perform but at a much cheaper cost. Under $20K. (No GPS, no power windows, no a/c, no power seats, leather option maybe... think Elise). Stick an IPOD compatible radio in it for people who think you need music to drive and give the rest of us purests something to rally with.

        It needs to perform. One should have to constantly be in fear of getting speeding tickets because it is that much fun to drive a little quicker.

        I owned TR7s. They were great. My dream was always a TR3, but now that I have the money, who has the time to tinker. Ergo..lastly.... MAKE IT RELIABLE!!

        .
      • 7 Years Ago
      As far as I know that image of a Triumph is a completely speculative piece of fantasy nonsense from Auto Express, a magazine not known for truth or accuracy.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I believe you're 100% correct about the rendering, DHG. That said, if BMW could manage to put together a modern TR6 interpretation (assuming they were to resurrect Triumph as a brand), it could be interesting.
      • 7 Years Ago
      If they could just make a reasonable facsimile of the GT6 with BMW engineering (and without Smith's gauges!), I'd be in heaven. One of my all time favorite designs. From there they have TR6, TR7 and the Spitfire to play with. All in all, a nice little stable of designs to work with.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Adding additional models and selling them through the Mini franchises will certainly be popular with the owners as having only 3 models to sell might make a good stool but is also a very risky business.

      Besides the sports cars, which were the only Triumphs that came to the US in any numbers, Triumph had a full line of sedans. BMW could sell a two seat roadster & coupe and also a couple of larger sedans with out bastardizing the legacy of the Mini name.

      Go for it.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Suspect strategically that BMW is seriously condidering co-licensing that the brand rights to Triumph (and other various olde worlde British marques) to an emerging Chinese manufacturer who wants 'western/British heritage'; similar to the way Nanjing bought MG and SAIC bought Rover.

      Probably to take place after the imminent consolidation of the Chinese auto-sector, such a deal could provide added BMW capacity/platform sharing for the Chinese market and Asian export markets.

      Such 'PR reveals' could well be intended to whet the appetites of China's auto executives looking for their own domestic and export growth paths.

      Turan Ahmed - 'investment-auto-motives' - London
      • 7 Years Ago
      *Gasp* That does not have any of the grace the TR series had. Hopefully they will do something better than the photo. It would not take much to take a current BMW roadster and reskin it as a TR6 replacement. Also,How about a low cost replacement for the Spitfire!
      • 7 Years Ago
      I wonder if there will be any marketplace confusion about the ties between Triumph cars and Triumph bikes. That aside, I like the idea of a 1 series BMW with updated classic British styling. Lose the excessive electronics (it is British, afterall) and put some fun roadsters on the streets.
      • 7 Years Ago
      It will never happen. Triumph would cannibalize BMW and MINI sales if the cars were executed well and would only waste money if executed poorly.
      I do not see BMW adding another brand anytime in the future.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I disagree.

        It would not be a FWD economy car. Different market than Mini, with slightly different customers for different reasons. I might consider a Mini for my wife. I would buy a Triumph for myself.

        However, the small-company attentiveness to detail and purpose, and the new-mini's configurability and style would be fantastic for an affordable RWD sports car, as a complimentary brand. I like the way Mini markets and sells their car. I like the details, and the execution. I just don't need or want a FWD compact hatch. I would love a RWD sports car, though.

        It would have to be less expensive and luxurious than the BMW models, in order not to compete with BMW directly, which would naturally put it right into the thick of the affordable sports car market, between $25-35k. Miata, Sol/Sky, S2000, 350Z, RX8, etc...

        Which is where BMW has nothing currently, and none of those have the british pedigree of the Triumph name, or a classically british design. NB Miata kind of had it, but the new one has retreated from copying "britishness". Solstice missed the british feel, if they were even going for that, and Sky is attractive, but modern, rather than classic.

        Boxster and Z4 are both above this market segment, and more premium-oriented than a Triumph would need to be. The 1-series is perhaps in the same price range, but as an inexpensive way to get a car with a roundel. I doubt Triumph would dissuade people from buying their "Beemer". A Triumph would be for people who want sports car design heritage and performance, not ladder-climbing luxury car brand status.

        Theoretically, with Mini, the Triumph name could be used as a sort of brand-module name, both for the make and model. Mini is the name of the brand, and it's only car, with variations of that car having descriptors, like Clubman, Cooper S, etc.

        Triumph could be sold in very much the same way. Triumph being the brand comprized of a single model base, in two body styles. Spitfire for I4 convertible, GT4 for I4 coupe. Maybe "TR6" as the package name for the Spitfire with the 6-cylinder engine, and GT6 for the 6-cylinder coupe.

        For even more enthusiasm, package them with M-tuning on the BMW I-4, and the Z4-M/E46 M3's inline 6, even as an option. I would love to see a better "british" looking, less luxurious and expensive, pure performance car with the BMW M-inline 6, vs the Z4-M.

        BMW has brought to market the I6 performance with the twin-turbo, let Triumph use a naturally aspirated M-tuned engine in a light, stylish, affordable sports car.

        The same marketing, distribution, and sales infrastructure that is already handling the Mini can add this as a second model. Basically two car model lines, the Mini line, and the Triumph line. That would absorb a lot of the costs with rolling it out, the structure is already there.

        A bit of design and manufacturing input from the BMW parent business, as I said, perhaps further amortizing the current Z4 platform under new skin, when it's replacement takes over on the BMW lots. As car development goes, this might not be all that expensive, compared to starting a whole new company or business unit.
      Matt
      • 3 Years Ago
      I love my tr6 and it was the famous of all them in the triumph line but let's not forget they were designed by Germans
      • 7 Years Ago
      They could just buy used miatas and put a new body on it and it would be the best Spitfire ever!

      Seriously, I had a GT6 and it was a fun car and absolutely beautiful. I think it would be a great idea.
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