New Triumph Rumors Surface at AutoExpress

MotoringFile readers will probably be all too familiar with the headline; BMW to resurrect Triumph brand. We first reported (along with several other publications) the rumors almost two years ago that BMW was considering the idea. Recently the rumor was given a shot in the arm with the news that BMW is officially considering adding a forth brand. And that’s where Auto Express pics up the pieces:

BMW is committed to launching more premium models as it bids to gain a bigger slice of the most lucrative areas of the new car market. And these pictures show how an upmarket two-seater could offer a premium alternative to the Mazda MX-5. With a raft of class-leading engines and platforms in the BMW stable, the roadster would be a force to be reckoned with. However, there are obstacles to overcome before any Triumph car could be built.

One problem may be Triumph the motorcycle manufacturer. The firm confirmed the car and motorbike brands are separately owned. A spokeswoman for the firm told us: “BMW owns the rights to Triumph Cars, which is entirely separate from Triumph Motorcycles. We are therefore not privy to any activities they may be planning and are unable to comment”.

Auto Express expects an announcement before years end.

[ Triumph TR is back! ] Auto Express
  • korby

    The front looks like the new ugly T Bird the back looks like a Solstice .

  • TSizemore3

    Go for it! Just don’t use the illustrations on the Auto Express site for the design though. A bit more TR6ish if you please…

  • Vanwall

    Well, at least the overall quality will be improved. BMW – leave any referenes to the TR-7 at the door, please and thank you.

  • eager2own

    Don’t love the looks — the front looks like it’s a Chrysler. Having said that, this’ll be very interesting if BMW can offer it with the engine from the 335 (as they’re doing with the 1-series . . . man, that 135 cabrio may actually pull me away from the MINI).

  • Callahan

    I think the design could be better. As the former owner of a Triumph Spitfire, Fiat Spider, and MG Midget, I would love to see the classic Englich roadsters return. Hopefully with out the problems. I was a glutton for punishment as you can tell by these three cars. Lots of fun when they run.

  • …an upmarket two-seater could offer a premium alternative to the Mazda MX-5…

    Doesn’t BMW already have a car that fits that description? Z4???

    Don’t place any faith in that illustration – it’s pure speculation, and it looks to me like they started with a photo of a Pontiac Solstice and edited it from there. Who’s to say the new design would be based on the TR3? Why not the TR6? Spitfire?

  • That would be a great brand to rebuild. If they acheieved even 25% of the success they had with the MINI brand, it would be awesome….

    It would be nice to see a rejuvenation of a brand like Triumph with retro-classic styling on the market to compete with all the other roadsters…

  • Jon

    Would love to see this happen, won’t hold my breath though.

    PaulGratz I agree about a car that fits that description, but then again doesn’t the X1 fit the Mini SUV, so I guess BMW isn’t above compeating with itsself.

  • JP

    I second the notion that the drawing is more like the Solstice. Any resembalance to the TR4 is purely coincidental. I owned a TR4a and what a hoot, not to mention a car that spent more time in shop than on the road. Be that I said Triumph built a range of decent vehicles including the Stag, a very sweet car and much ahead of its time.

  • Shamus

    I agree…it’s a photo-chopped Solstice. Not surprising coming from AutoExpress, afterall, it is their business to create images for the wild speculation they spew.

  • jim

    I want a tr4a that works.A true sports car!

  • jim

    I would love a triumph TR4A that worked

  • GregW

    When BMW introduced the Z3 it was supposed to be an affordable sports car to match the Mazda MX5 Miata. Intially it came in 1.8 4 cyl and 6 cyl. Then something changed and it became a Porsche Boxer rival with a price tag to suit. Why bother with another marque? They could quite easily make another MINI variant like a two-door roadster. Seems BMW can’t decide whether it wants to be a sporty car niche car maker (like Porsche) or a volume luxury car producer.

  • msh441

    Mazda Miata rear end, diffuster exhaust pipes and sides (doors and rocker panels).

    Pontiac Solstice boot (seat humps) and tail lights (rotated outward a bit).

    Cadillac XLR hood and grille (fattened up ever so slightly to accept the lights).

    MINI headlights and driving lights.

  • cct1

    Doesn’t BMW already have a car that fits that description? Z4???

    The Z4 doesn’t compete with the Mazda–totally different price range and animal. Hence the Z2, which will compete directly with the Mazda.

    If BMW proceedes with the Z2, which is the rumor, it’ll be competing directly with itself with the Triumph reincarnation–I don’t see it happening. (and the front of it looks more like a modern Cadillac grill in that rendering–don’t see that happening either).

  • korby

    Just looked at the window sticker of the Z4 yesterday $65,000 .

  • Spectre

    I don’t believe BMW has been too happy with the Z4 roadster since the get go. They feel that there is a generous slice of the market currently taken up my the Mazda Miata and the Honda S2000, which by the way, faces an uncertain future after 2008…

    I would think that bringing back Triumph may be a palatable business proposition…A fun, small, chock full of personality roadster priced at or well below the Miata could make sense. And above all, a new Triumph by BMW will signal the comeback of British pedigreed roadsters, a market that Mazda has practically owned with little threat from competitors since 1990.

    Interesting development.

  • The Z4 is close to a disaster for BMW. It competes with the Cayman, not the Miata, and its sales have been a major disappointment, especially when compared to how well the Z3 did. The coupe is rather nice looking, but the convertible just doesn’t look right.

    The Z2 is an interesting concept, and IMHO has a much better chance of seeing the light of day than the Triumph concept. Time will tell.

  • SB

    I just hope this doesn’t take away from the Z2.

  • M. Dillon

    I really hope,that BMW,gives the greenlight to start production of this car. I would be a great fit,for this company. A car that is better than a Mazda Miata;yet,slightly under a Lotus Elise,in terms of quality,price,etc.

    Also,it’s worth noting,that BMW SHOULD BRING BACK THE GENTLEMAN,who not only designed,the 1st generation MINI;but,also designed the new FIAT 500.

    So far,this man is batting a thousand,as far as mixing the perfect blend of a retro-looks;and,modern touches.

    If BMW can do those things,then they will see individuals,such as myself,with checkbook,in hand.

  • M. Dillon

    Yikes! I meant to state,”…It would be a great fit…”;instead of,”…I would be a great fit…”

  • Madoc

    I notice that AutoDistress used the Triumph M/C logo on the photochop instead of the Triumph automobile logo. Tsk tsk.

  • The Z4 is close to a disaster for BMW. It competes with the Cayman, not the Miata, and its sales have been a major disappointment, especially when compared to how well the Z3 did. The coupe is rather nice looking, but the convertible just doesn’t look right.

    The Z3 was rather elegant, but the Z4 is rather ugly. I’m not surprised sales have tanked. Now I understand why they need another roadster in their lineup…

    Put the Triumph name on it and sell it through MINI dealers…

  • Madoc – I noticed that too. For shame! Sinks their whole creditability. The two marques are totally different.

    Since I grew up working on Triumphs (still working on one), I would love to own a new one.

    Now they just need an Italian designer, or some one who works for a little Italian company. Remember, the more successful body styles (TR4, TR6 and Spitfire) were all of Italian heritage. Micholetti was the designer, if I remember correctly.

  • GregW

    GoMiniGo – I agree. I owned a Mk2 1965 Spitfire a while back. The shape was classic. The fill wishbone chassis was another feature. Worst part was the rear spring set up which folded inwards like a Beetle.